Tag Archives: bookstore

Amazon to acquire AbeBooks (and part of LibraryThing)

When I saw this headline, “Amazon To Acquire AbeBooks, And With It, A Stake In LibraryThing” via TechCrunch, I was sad, for some reason [Remind me to talk about capitalization in headlines some time. I’ve reproduced the style of this one here exactly as it was written on TechCrunch, but capitalizing Every Single Little Word? Ugh.].

I’m a newcomer to AbeBooks, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve known of it. I’ve found several books I hadn’t been able to find (reasonably priced, anyway) elsewhere.

I’ve drooled over LibraryThing, but I’ve never added the contents of my bookshelves to the site. I’m not sure what’s held me back, though, other than time.

Apparently AbeBooks (according to a letter sent out to its sellers) will continue to operate as a standalone site.

Here’s a theoretical discussion of the financial aspects of the deal.

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Bookstore stocks bikes

A bookstore in Minnesota is now also offering bicycles for sale. Well, it’s actually just one style of bike. An inexpensive, utilitarian pedal transportation machine. And for every two he sells, another will be donated to BikeTown Africa, which is currently operational in Botswana, but is apparently open to expansion in any African country that wants to be part of the program.

Via Shelf Awareness, from yesterday.

At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon

I finished the first in Jan Karon’s Mitford series, At Home in Mitford, this week.

The books remind me of Lake Wobegon, except Christian.

The story follows the Episcopalian priest (new word for me: rector) in this small Southern town. Father Tim is an avid flower gardener, cook, localvore, lover of Wordsworth. Nothing too huge usually transpires in daily life (although a few big changes do take place), but the characters come alive.

Quite the fun read.

I intended to pick up this first installment at the library, where I’d seen them before, for the 24-hour read-a-thon. But the first book was missing! I was headed to Books on Broadway anyway, so I checked for it there, and they had it. I bought it. (I’ve mentioned this bookstore before, here). I did start reading this book during the read-a-thon, but I didn’t make it all the way through before time expired.

The newspaper in the small town of Mitford (in the Blue Ridge Mountains) is pretty bad — spells a person’s name three different ways in one article. The small-town paper I worked for wasn’t (and isn’t) that bad.

I heard so many recommendations for this series, from people whose book opinions I trust. I’d seen them in the library, time and again, but they spines never seemed interesting. I even glanced at the covers, but I always returned the books to the shelf. Maybe it’s the orange. (And yes, I have been turned off by a book’s cover only to later find, when I actually take the chance, that I’ve skipped over a great read, here for example.)

I’m now on to the second book in the series, this one from the library; I hope to finish it before the books are due back to the library at the end of this week.

I knew I should go there

I’ve got so many posts to write, that I want and need to write (some are even drafted already), but this is all I can muster. I’m quite busy, still, with this editing project. Have a good week!

From today’s Shelf Awareness:

Calling Asheville, N.C., “a book lover’s paradise,” the Citizen-Times profiled several local bookshops–the Captain’s Bookshelf, Malaprop’s, Once Upon a Time, Accent on Books, Barnes & Noble and the Reader’s Corner.

“We are lucky in Asheville,” said Chan Gordon, co-owner of the Captain’s Bookshelf. “We are an art destination and the prevalence of bookstores here goes hand in hand with the notable artists. When we opened [in 1976], there were tumbleweeds blowing down Haywood Street. We have become a destination simply because we’ve been around so long. In many ways, we are fueled by the book-minded tourist coming from Charlotte, Atlanta, Knoxville, even Washington, D.C.”

“Asheville is unusual from what I hear from other booksellers across the Southeast,” said Linda Barrett Knopp, general manager of Malaprop’s Bookstore. “Our sales are up, and Asheville’s local economy seems pretty healthy. People are very supportive of us.”

Considering the number of independent bookstores located in the city, Stan Collins of Once Upon a Time bookstore suggested that “Asheville may be unique. People are really committed and dedicated readers have a tendency to patronize us independents. They know when they come into an independent store, that the people there really know the books.”

I’ve always known I would like Asheville (to visit, anyway) — although the rumored humidity and bugs might impact the best time for the trip. In addition to art and majestic views, they’ve got books!?!! 🙂

Hard-to-find books

I was going through the Image Journal book list, adding them one at a time to my Amazon wish list, and I discovered that several of them are out of print. Nearly all of them are able to be purchased at Amazon.com, but some are only available used, for several times the books’ original price — a paperback for $95, for instance. Sigh.

I went back to the Image Journal site, and found that it said all the titles could be bought through Eighth Day Books. I went there, and started searching, but my work was unrewarded. The difficult-to-find tomes were unavailable there.

I’ve also done a simple Google search for most of the missing titles, but that has fared about the same.

Oh, and I also added my Amazon wish list to BookMooch, to see if I could get them there. So far, no luck on the hard-to-find titles.

Here’s one that’s just plain not available:
The Satin Slipper by Paul Claudel.

Here are the ones that seem to be problematic:
Collected Poems by John Heath Stubbs. Amazon, at the moment, says there are 2 available from alternate sellers, starting at $139.78.
The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc by Charles Peguy. For this one, Amazon knows of 6 available, starting at the low, low price of $74.29.
The Complete Poems of Edwin Muir. (My searching turned up a volume edited by Peter Butter.) Amazon has 2 available today, with a low price of $143.72.
The Residual Years: Poems 1934-1948 by William Everson. Two available, starting at $95.31.

On the less worrisome end of the spectrum, there are titles such as these:
Anathemata by David Jones. Amazon shows 6 available, starting at a much more reasonable $24.
The Woman Who Was Poor by Leon Bloy. The all-knowing Amazon shows 6 available, starting at $45, which is still pretty high for one book.
Selected Poems, 1954-1992 by George Mackay Brown. Ooh, there are 7 of these, starting at $49.89.
The Veritable Years: Poems 1949-1966 by William Everson. There are two copies of this one, starting at $39.95. The thing is, this is just one half of one of the 100 items listed. See above bulleted item, also by William Everson.

I plan to keep my eyes peeled, and I need to pen the list to keep in my purse for when I happen upon a used book store. I gave the partial list (that I’ve found thus far) to my sister a few states away, for her to look for at the library sale, but that did not yield any of the needed titles. I don’t have high hopes, though, at least about what I’ll find locally. How do you handle this situation?

ETA: I found two of these, reasonably priced, and ordered them immediately from AbeBooks; I’ve crossed them out on the list above.

Books on Broadway

The new bookstore downtown, which I wrote about last week, is supposed to have its “soft opening” today, from what I’ve heard. The building still had no signage, though, when I drove by last night. The official grand opening (complete with ribbon cutting) is slated for Thursday, April 24.

I went down Friday after posting here and helped organize a few shelves. What a task! It was fun, though. While I was there, I heard a few tidbits:
• Tentative, initial hours: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. This is dependent upon traffic, however; if no one comes in until 9:30 a.m., consistently, why open at 8 a.m.?
• I think it’s Trish Houston’s venture, although she’s certainly not in it alone.
• Something about having a credit system, if a customer brings in books to sell, that customer will in turn receive some sort of credit toward books to buy. I’m not sure what the system is, though.

I guess I hurried my previous post, because I apparently omitted several things I meant to write.

I’m excited about this bookstore for a number of reasons:
• Books are good, and thus bookstores are good;
• The addition of a retail shop; should help downtown; and
• It’s not affiliated with any chain, and I’m all for independent businesses.

Here’s its website again.

Bookstore housed in 13th century church

The Guardian has a lovely, evocative piece on a new bookstore in Holland. The shop — Selexyz Dominicanen — complete with a cafe serving up cappuccino and red wine, resides in a Dominican church that was consecrated in 1294. The ceilings still bear the ancient paintings, and books are stacked well beyond the first floor.

In some ways it’s neat, and it’s certainly better than what could happen here (I pray that even in America we wouldn’t tear down such a monumental architectural work!); however, it some ways the thought of a cathedral being repurposed makes me feel a tiny bit uneasy. Still, it’s a beautiful space, and could be inducement for me to add Maastricht to my list of places in Europe to visit. And this has to be a more appropriate use for the space than its previous use, as a bike pound.

Views from the top shelf along the nave of the church are nothing short of uplifting, while just above your head are the faded remains of ceiling paintings from around 1337; in a very different style, there are others by the artist Jan Vessens, depicting saints and sinners and episodes from the Bible, dating from 1619. It is rare to get so close to such paintings anywhere, let alone in a bookshop.

Photo credit: Sueli Brodin, via Flickr.
Via Shelf Awareness from a week ago.

New bookstore downtown

The burg of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, will have an independent bookstore downtown as of next week.

Books on Broadway, at 201 N. Broadway, is slated to hold its grand opening next Thursday, April 24. I’ve been intentionally driving past whenever I’m out and about and peering in the windows on walks.

It’s supposed to offer new and used books.

This is a nice thing for downtown Siloam Springs, which needs another (retail) reason for people to visit. And how can I not be excited about it?

The store’s website is fledgling, but it’s up.

I’ve heard more about the store, but I only have this additional information second- or third-hand, so I’ll refrain from adding it here.