The nice folks at Libro.fm supply audiobooks online and through a network of the country's best indie bookstores; all their books are DRM-free, and they have a new, snappy way of describing them: Cage-Free Audiobooks. Read the rest
Waterstones was at death's door when it was purchased by Russian billioniare Alexander Mamut, who hired James Daunt -- an investment banker who'd founded the successful, six-store Daunt Books -- to run the chain. Read the rest
Larry Smith is a mainstay and fixture of America's science fiction conventions (as well as many overseas events); he's someone I've conversed with dozens of times, and, like John Scalzi, I always made a point of signing his stock because I knew that anything I signed for Larry would go all around the nation. Read the rest
Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz's must-read new book The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy (read an excerpt) is not for sale in the Apple ebook store, and won't be until they agree to change their text to refer to Apple's ebooks as "iBooks" rather than "iBook." Read the rest
Chris writes, "I bought my first e-book in 1998, before my e-reading hardware had even arrived yet. Yesterday I discovered that Barnes & Noble has effectively stolen that book from me, mistakenly replacing it it in my Nook library with another title I never bought." Read the rest
A new book called Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World cites surveys that say that young readers increasingly prefer to read books from paper, not screens. Read the rest
In the 1990s, London was home to notorious book-thieves who stole to order for the shops of Charing Cross road, who paid a fraction of cover-price for them -- meaning that each thief would have to steal £50,000/year worth of books (and often stole more). Read the rest
Photographer Steve Kenward's Literally is a series of portraits of booksellers in their native habitats (their bookstores). As a former member of the tribe myself, I recognize these for the fine specimens they are: magnificently nearsighted, slightly askew, and posed with the treasures they have personally assembled and arrayed for the public's delectation. Each portrait is accompanied by a list of favorite books, which is the only part of this that rings hollow -- a bookseller with only one favorite book is like a chef who only likes one dish. Impossible. Read the rest
Safwat sez, "After unsuccessfully trying to sell nude photos on Craiglist (Watch the project video to learn more about that!), Moby-Dick, Frankenstein's monster AND Gregor Samsa turn to crowdfunding to help Changing Hands Bookstore build a new indie bookstore in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona. There's some pretty funny and one-of-a-kind classic-literature based t-shirts, prints and greeting cards up for grabs."
I spoke at Changing Hands on my last book tour and not only were the staff kind and knowledgeable, the store was spectacular. What's more, it was clearly a hub for a community of active readers in Phoenix. They certainly deserve your support! The t-shirts/posters are fab, too. Prints start at $10, tees at $30, and you can get all five tees (and support an amazing bookseller) for $140.
The number of members of the American Booksellers' Association is slowly creeping up, a welcome sign after a steep decline from 5500 members in 1995 to 2191 in 2002. ABA is comprised of indie booksellers, and though the dominant narrative has it that the indies were slaughtered by Amazon, the numbers suggest that the decline had more to do with the rise of the big-box chain-stores (ironically, these are dead [Borders] or dying [B&N] and were almost certainly killed by Amazon).
More interesting is why the number of indie bookstores is growing: Read the rest
Here's a mouth-watering set of photos from La caverne aux livres, a bookshop in Auvers-Sur-Oise, north of Paris. The store is in a converted train-car, and appears to be a magical wonderland. The pics were taken by the Gallifreyan Detective, and the whole set is wonderful.
Thorne sez, "I grew up in a bookstore in a 150 year old Victorian mansion in Rock Hill, St. Louis. I lived in an upstairs room until I was about 10, and we needed the space for more books. This weekend a demolition crew came into my family's store to take measurements for a proposed demolition. An out of state company wants to build an industrial storage facility on this location. This has been an operating independent family business for 30 years and I'm posting it because I believe this type of development needs attention. A friend started a change.org petition over the weekend. Also - it's haunted."
Apparently, the landlord is an "older guy who just wants to sell the property," and the real leverage point here is whether the city grants permission for the demolition and the storage facility.