Mail-Order Book Clubs' Never-Ending Story

An Anonymous Patron writes to share this relatable story from The Washington Post, "Mail-Order Book Clubs' Never-Ending Story" about the often-frustrating relationship between mail-order book clubs and their members.

"I know I'm not alone. In June, New York-based Scholastic Inc. and two of its subsidiaries, Scholastic-At-Home and Grolier Inc., agreed to pay a $710,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that the companies violated laws in the marketing of their negative-option book clubs."

[How can I get in on that money!? - A.K.]


Book outlet closing after 36 years

The Oakland Press Reports Charles Hughes will close the book on his 36-year-old store Sept. 15. Paperbacks Unlimited survived the onslaught of big-box stores, he said, but has lost business because of a lack of readers.The public isn't reading ... to the extent that it has in the past," said Hughes, 67, of Ferndale. "That's the basic reason."

Hughes' love affair with books started in 1952 when he was a part-time employee at a bookstore on Wayne State University's campus. He loved being around books and reading, he said.

From there, he worked at other bookstores before opening his own in downtown Ferndale.

"My fascination was with the printed word," he said.


HarperCollins Taps SMS to Promote Children's Novels

An Interesting Move By HarperCollins. They've begun an aggressive text messaging program to promote upcoming children's novels by The Princess Diaries author Meg Cabot.

The publisher will send a variety of content and promotions via SMS to Cabot fans who join the Meg Cabot Mobile Club via the author's Web site. The club is promoted via an extensive online media buy.


Last Book Store stays

Not Much Information In this Seattle Post-Intelligencer blurb, but they say Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry won't be closing his eclectic North Texas book shop after all.

The author of "Lonesome Dove" and "Terms of Endearment" announced in February that he would shutter Booked Up Inc. in Archer City because the store had been losing customers. But McMurtry said the shop's outlook has improved due to staff cuts and an upturn in business.


Monterey Bookstores Hope To Survive the Wave of the WWW

The Internet has had an enormous effect on both libraries and bookstores, for the better and for the worse. This article from the Monterey (CA) Herald gives us an example of just how things are going for little bookstores in this region of California (which includes Salinas).

The effect of the internet was enough to close Old Capitol Books in New Monterey, which in March shut its doors after more than 21 years in business.

Owner Cristiana St. John said that with the advent of online sales via and eBay, the competition was stiffer than a rare hardback cover.

"When the Internet really began to catch on," she said, "it kind of changed the equation to the extent that only a few of the booksellers continue to survive."

Monterey used to have a cluster of thriving used bookstores; many are still in business, though with different owners or names.


Biblio is building libraries

The Asheville Citizen-Times Takes A Look at Since he launched his Internet business, Sherar has seen his site mushroom into the world’s third largest Web site for used, rare and out-of-print books. Biblio lets online shoppers browse through 22 million titles online from 3,000 independent booksellers in 24 countries.

But Biblio isn’t just about putting books into buyer’s hands for a good price. The company is concerned that free books make their way into needy communities in South America. Biblio has just finished building a public library for a poor Indian village in Bolivia, with plans to build a larger library this fall near the capital of La Paz.


Independent bookseller finds niche with authors, community

Boston Globe Correspondent sits down with the owners of the Toadstool Bookshop. This bookstore, a fixture in town for 16 years, is the youngest of the Toadstool trio of family-owned-and-operated bookstores. It is also the smallest, with 7,500 square feet of retail space. But that seems to work just fine in this southern New Hampshire community known for its quaintness.


Guide to Tucson's local and independent bookstores

One from Arizona Daily Wildcat - Tucson, AZ that says Tucson readers are a lucky bunch. In addition to the two bookstore giants (Borders and Barnes & Noble), Tucson has a good selection of independent, locally owned bookstores, each serving their own niche in the community. Score some good reads (and some good karma points) by supporting them the next time you're feeling literary.


Chapter one: starting a book business

The Nashville City Paper talks with Gene and Cassie McCabe who have started a business for booklovers that is part, part garage sale and part buyers' club.

The genesis for their enterprise,, came about from Gene McCabe spending money on books from bookstores, reading them and then seeing them sit on his bookshelf.

"A book is still in pretty good shape when I finish reading it and I don't generally read a book twice," he said. "Someone might like to read that book, but I don't know where that person is."


Harry Potter and Bookselling Economics

Harry--the latest 'hot sell' that was supposed to create a margin of relief for indie booksellers instead created a lack of profitability. Several days after the 'roll out', this reporter saw bunches of Harry hardbacks stacked up at the Super Stop and Shop (next to the produce aisle) in Pittsfield MA. No pajama'ed kids, no lines of wild customers waving their money at cashiers.

And from across the Atlantic, an article from Scotland's the "Herald and Times"...

"When you think of price wars, the town of Aberfeldy (Scotland) doesn't spring to mind as a likely battleground. Even so, last Saturday, as history's most hyped novel was hoisted by forklift truck onto shelves, the town's two bookshops were a prime example of the agonising calculations that were going on all across Britain and North America over Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." More here on how books are sold these days, and how in our current economy, bookshops are essentially becoming passé.



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