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2015
                       

12.31.15
small BLUEHere's a little state pride from my online alumni magazine, Dateline UVM
(UVM stands for the University of Vermont) John

Vermont Ranked No. 1 Among Top Peace Corps-Producing States
   The Peace Corps announced on December 8 that for the third straight year, Vermont ranks No. 1 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers per capita. 52 residents of the Green Mountain State are currently serving worldwide in the Peace Corps, with a ratio that also represents 8.3 volunteers for every 100,000 residents, the highest per capita rate in the nation.
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12.15.15
newsman
James Patterson Gives Bookseller Bonuses
   Some 87 independent bookstore employees are now receiving bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 as part of James Patterson's bookseller bonus program, announced earlier this year and handled in conjunction with the American Booksellers Association.

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12.22.15
newsman
Books are Getting Longer
   Books are steadily increasing in size
, according to a survey that has found the average number of pages has grown by 25% over the last 15 years. A study of more than 2,500 books appearing on New York Times bestseller and notable books lists and Google’s annual survey of the most discussed books reveals that the average length has increased from 320 pages in 1999 to 400 pages in 2014.

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11.3.15
newsman
Amazon Bookstore Opens Today in Seattle
   Amazon is opening a bricks-and-mortar bookstore, in the U-Village shopping center, in Seattle, Wash., today. Called Amazon Books, the store will stock 5,000-6,000 titles and has 5,500 square feet of retail space and 2,000 for storage, according to the Seattle Times. The store is "a physical extension of Amazon.com," Jennifer Cast, v-p, Amazon Books, said in a letter to Amazon customers "We've applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping."
small BLUE The scum of the bookselling world, now goes the way of real booksellers, but in an abbreviated way that will continue to show their computerized heart, one not capable of loving a book ... like a human bookseller. I have always felt sick when I see their name, their smiling boxes repulse me, and now they start cheapening the physical bookstore world that I so love. Some times the news is just makes one SAD. -
John

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10.15.15

Founder Malcolm Margolin Retiring from Heyday Books  

mmMalcolm Margolin, who founded independent, nonprofit California publisher Heyday Books more than 40 years ago, is retiring, LA Observed reported, noting that a search is currently underway for someone to carry on the work of the longtime publisher/executive director.
   "For the right candidate, this presents an amazing opportunity to lead a nonprofit book publishing company in a period of growth," Heyday wrote. "It takes imagination and savvy to finance and publish books in today's marketplace, and Heyday's staff and board look to the next publisher/executive director to chart a bold and visionary course. She or he will be supported by our stellar brand, our deep and diverse backlist, and our passionate community of writers, readers, cultural leaders and publishing professionals."
   Of his impending retirement, Margolin told KFPA radio in an interview: "I'm not 100% sure what it's going to be like. And I would love to keep my links to Heyday, depending on who's going to succeed me. I don't want to be the old guy that stands in there and says things aren't what they used to be. For the 40 years I ran Heyday, I could follow my own visions, and I want to give that to the next person."

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9.29.15
newsman
$1 Million to Planned Parenthood
   Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) and his wife, children's book author and illustrator Lisa Brown, are giving $1 million to Planned Parenthood. They explained: "We've been very fortunate, and good fortune should be shared with noble causes.""
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8.13.15

Joan on the $10 bill

joan
   Getting a jump on the proposed redesign of the $10 bill to feature a woman's image, Book Soup, West Hollywood, Calif., has launched "a social media campaign in the hopes the U.S. Department of the Treasury will select Joan Didion," the Hollywood Reporter wrote. Rob Bieselin, a graphic designer at Book Soup, initially debuted the idea on the store's sidewalk chalkboard. When "customers responded enthusiastically, Bieselin substituted a publicity photo of Didion for Hamilton, printed a 4-foot-long poster of the redesigned bill and hung it in the front window," THR noted. Book Soup is also giving away the Didion-adorned $10 bills with each book purchase.
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9.1.15
... a little VERMONT NEWS
Chard deNiord named New Vermont Poet Laureate
poet

   Chard deNiord has been appointed Vermont poet laureate, succeeding Sydney Lea, who was named to the post in 2011. Seven Days reported that one of his goals "is to break down the walls of fear and intimidation many people feel toward poetry. Instead, he wants to help Vermonters, especially young people, to hear and appreciate poetry as 'essential language' that need not be reserved for weddings, funerals and other special occasions." His installation as state poet takes place November 2 in a ceremony at the Vermont Statehouse.
   "I was stunned and humbled by this. I didn't expect it at all," said deNiord, a co-founder of the New England College MFA program in poetry. His books include poetry collections Interstate, Asleep in the Fire, Sharp Golden Thorn, Night Mowing and The Double Truth, as well as a collection of interviews with various American poets titled Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs.
   DeNiord "joins an exclusive club," Seven Days noted. Vermont's first poet laureate, Robert Frost, was appointed in 1961 and served until 1963, after which there was a long gap until Galway Kinnell was named poet laureate in 1989. Since then, Louise Glück, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Grace Paley, Ruth Stone and Lea have held the position.
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6.9.15
NCIBA Executive Director Hut Landon to Retire
hut
   Hut Landon, the longtime executive director for the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, announced last week his plan to retire by the end of the year.
   In a letter to NCIBA members, Landon explained that he has not tired of the book business. “What I am is a newly minted 65-year-old with a yen to spend more time at home and traveling with my wife, Joy,” he wrote.
   Since his announcement went out, “I have been overwhelmed, frankly, by the number of people who have taken the time to write to wish me well. It’s very gratifying and humbling,” said Landon.
   The NCIBA board has appointed a search committee to find Landon’s successor prior to the Fall Discovery Show, which will take place October 15–16 in San Francisco. Landon will serve on the committee and said he will stay with NCIBA as long as necessary to train his successor and ease the transition.
   Landon noted he would be interested in working part-time in a bookstore once he steps down from his post, and invited suggestions for book-related projects. “I’m not off to a retirement home, and I still want to work, but I’d also like the freedom to take a trip, spend more time with friends and family, exercise every day, and, every once in a while, just do nothing,” he said.
   “Hut has provided extraordinary leadership for NCIBA, and he is very highly regarded by all the regional associations around the country for his many, many contributions to indie bookselling, not the least of which is Independent Bookstore Day,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. “I’ve had the honor of working with Hut for almost 25 years, and, speaking for myself and all us at ABA, we will miss him a great deal.”
   A longtime fixture in the bookselling community of Northern California, Landon became a bookstore owner in 1984 when he and his sister purchased a shop in Novato, California, naming it Landon Books. They later bought a second store in Marin County and closed the Novato location.
   Landon served on the NCIBA board as a bookseller for 10 years before becoming part-time assistant director. He closed Landon Books when he became executive director of NCIBA in 1999.
   As executive director, Landon has been integral in supporting the growing independent bookselling community in the region, introducing programs such as Book Sense, which later became IndieBound, and playing a key role in developing California Bookstore Day in 2014 and Independent Bookstore Day in 2015. Landon also co-founded and served as executive director of the San Francisco Locally Owned Merchants Alliance.

(info from
Bookselling This Week)

small BLUE It's sad when someone who is really good at their job, someone who many people have come to depend on, decides to move on in their life. Of course, this sadness is a purely selfish feeling, because you also should be happy for the person who is moving on, for all the new excitements in their life. Hut was a person that Vicky and I had a little contact every year we had a bookstore. We counted on him for a warm greeting, the latest in bookselling/publishing news, and answers to any question we might throw at him.
   Often, whatever a question might be:
     What's that new program from the NCIBA?
     Who might know how to get a certain author into our bookstore?
     Where might we find a job post-bookstore-ownership?
     Is that last nasty Amazon rumor, true? .............................................. The answer was, "LET'S ASK HUT."
 He will be greatly missed by a vast multitude of people, and we all hope him the very best. Thanks for everything,
     -
John
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6.8.15
Books Inc. opens in North Berkeley after move
books      inside
  
Books Inc. shut down its smaller store on Fourth Street to move to 1491 Shattuck Ave., the former location of another independent bookstore, Black Oak Books, which closed in 2009. (Black Oak is now at 2618 San Pablo. Ave.)
   “This space is bigger, which is very helpful to us,” the store's manager said. “It allows us to expand our book and magazine selection, especially children’s books and cookbooks.”
  
In a case of bittersweet timing, Books Inc’s opening comes just five days after the city’s oldest operating bookstore, Shakespeare & Co., shut down permanently. Its owner, Jon Wobber, also cited an inability to make money as the reason for the closure.
  
The new store is bigger than the Fourth Street one which means it is expanding its book and magazine selection, especially children’s books and cookbooks, according to manager Schyler Baker.


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6.6.15
newsman
James Patterson Making Bookstore Grants in Australia, New Zealand
   As he did in the U.S. and U.K., author James Patterson is making grants to bookstores in Australia and New Zealand to spend on initiatives to encourage children to read. The grants, which he announced yesterday in Sydney, total $78,700; stores can receive as much as $3,936 each.
"I have been inspired, moved and delighted by the innovative proposals I have received from bookstores in the U.K. and the U.S.," Patterson said. "And I have been thrilled to see the real difference that these grants have already started to make. I can't wait to see the proposals from Australian and New Zealand bookstores."
   "This is great news for an industry that is already seeing significant growth in sales for younger readers," said Joel Becker, chief executive of the Australian Booksellers Association. "Along with James, we celebrate the role that bookshops have in communities throughout Australia. We are excited about the opportunity that these grants will provide for bookshops to reach out to new audiences, and to develop ideas and programs that encourage young people to engage with the world of books and reading. Our members will take up this opportunity with a gusto that will knock your socks off!"

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6.3.15
Berkeley's. Shakespeare & Co. Books Closes
shakeAs of today, intrepid readers looking to scour real life bookshelves for a new tome or tract have one less vendor in Berkeley. Shakespeare & Co. Books, which opened on Telegraph Avenue in 1964, has closed without formal announcement.
   The owner wasn't immediately available for comment, but an employee said that yesterday representatives from Portland's Powell's Books, made Shakespeare an offer on the entirety of its stock. "They came in, looked around for a couple of hours, and said, 'We'll take it all,'" the employee said. He didn't specify terms but indicated that the offer was unexpectedly robust. "At that moment," he continued, "we had to the close the doors."
   2499 Telegraph Ave., the parcel where Shakespeare has sold books for over fifty years, was sold late last year to Telegraph Partners LLC. The structure is in need of significant renovations. To properly upgrade the site, it was explained, Shakespeare would be forced to close for three to nine months. The company, wary of whether or not it could sustain the prolonged lull in sales, not to mention the herculean task of boxing up the entire stock during construction, reached out to Powell's.
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5.26.15
newsman
Books Inc. Opening Santa Clara, California, Store Next Year
   Books Inc. is opening a 4,000-square-foot location (its 12th) in Santa Clara Square in Santa Clara. The Irvine Company is currently building the development, which will include retail, offices and condos, and is on the 101 Freeway, close to Levi's Stadium, the new home of the San Francisco '49ers. Books Inc. had a location in nearby San Jose that closed in the mid-1990s when a Barnes & Noble opened a block away. Later, a Borders opened in the spot Books Inc. vacated. "We are excited to return to the community we served for so many years," Books Inc. co-owner and CEO Michael Tucker said.
                         
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4.2.15
going
Santa Barbara's Granada Books Closing in May
   Granada Books, Santa Barbara, Calif., which launched a crowdfunding campaign last month to stay in business, announced Tuesday that it will close in May "despite the remarkable, amazing, heartfelt, and overwhelmingly generous giving from our community." Slightly more than $20,000 was contributed; the store had wanted to raise $50,000 by the end of March.

small BLUE On a personal note, when this store was first announced, Vicky and me both applied for the management positions at this bookstore, we filled out a brutally long application ... and were never called. What if?? Two years was a short time for a bookstore to go down. One of our former employees worked for for Granada for a while. It's a tough world out there. -
John  

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3.30.15
                                 us  We make such a nice couple.

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1.27.15
newsman
Literary Cups Again at Chipotle
   Eight months after author Jonathan Safran Foer turned his mid-burrito boredom into a series of stories for Chipotle cups and to-go bags (by the likes of himself, Toni Morrison, Michael Lewis, and George Saunders), he’s at it again. The fast-casual burrito chain on Tuesday announced a new slate of authors for its beverage cups and packaging. Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors), Julia Alvarez (In the Time of Butterflies), Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), and Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible) are among the new additions.

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1.2.15

newsman
For Books, Print Is Back   
   Unit sales of print books sold through outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan rose 2.4% in 2014, with total units topping 635 million. BookScan estimates that it captures approximately 80% of print-unit sales made in the U.S. Still, the 2014 figures are further evidence that print books are selling better than they have since sales of e-books exploded in 2010 and Borders closed its doors in 2011. Total print-unit sales bottomed out in 2012, falling to 590 million, but in the two years since then, units have risen 7.6% (info from Publisher's Weekly)
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1.1.15
newsman
French economist
Thomas Piketty, the best-selling author of Capital in the 21st Century, has turned down France's top award, the Legion D'Honneur.
"I do not think it is the government's role to decide who is honorable", Mr Piketty said. His book examines income inequality in society and became a surprise hit, topping the bestseller list in the US. But Mr Piketty, who was once close to the Socialist Party but has criticized the government of Francois Hollande, said he was unable to accept the award. "I have just learned that I was nominated for the Legion D'Honneur. I refuse this nomination because I do not think it is the government's role to decide who is honorable," he told the news agency AFP.
"They would do better to concentrate on reviving [economic] growth in France and Europe."
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