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Showing posts from August, 2006

Too busy! Much too busy!

Did anyone ever see the Monty Python episode where a policeman keeps breaking in on the sketches proclaiming "Too silly! Much too silly!" ? It's necessary to keep that voice in mind... Also, have you ever been in a state of constant low-grade guilt because there are so many things you haven't yet gotten done? It's like that around here in Book Nerd land. Sometimes I think I'm just not cut out to be a blogger -- how do all you folks do it? But things are starting to get sorted out. The ELNO, for one, is well under way -- don't forget to email me if you're a New York-area young person in the book industry and you'd like to attend (or if you're a publisher who would like to donate some swag -- er, publicity materials -- for the event). I will get back to those of you who are interested in guest blogging as soon as I have time to think about a schedule -- don't think I don't appreciate your offers, because I DO! Hold that thought,

Comment: Street Dates & Street Ethics; Call for Guest Bloggers

I got to thinking about street dates for books over the weekend. This will likely be a short post, due to depressing weather and an overwhelming to-do list, but hopefully it will be food for thought. The street date (or on-sale date, which I'll use interchangeably though there are subtle differences) is the official date on which a book can be sold in bookstores. The most famous of these, of course, is for Harry Potter; remember all those crates of books waiting for the midnight release? Most street dates aren't down to the minute, but as a rule the more highly anticipated the book, the more strict the on-sale date. This Tuesday, August 29, is the street date for two such highly anticipated books: Haruki Murakami's new novel BLIND WILLOW, SLEEPING WOMAN (Knpf) and the paperback edition of Zadie Smith's ON BEAUTY (Penguin). My store will likely receive our shipment of these books today (Monday), but we are strictly forbidden to sell either of them until tomorrow. Stre

Chronicle-Mad Wednesday: Brooklyn Biz, Book Festival, ELNO, NAIBA, Body Art

I spent the morning at the fabulous Brooklyn Business Library -- I wanted to make sure I got there in time for the 10:15 Wednesday tour listed on their website. As it turned out I was the only person there for the tour, but the librarian was just all the more helpful for that -- she asked me about what I was working on and what I was looking for, and quickly passed over all the boring stuff to take me to the information I needed (in my case, Brooklyn demographic statistics). She admitted (actually several times) that much of the information in the massive folders lining the walls can be found more easily on the Internet, and that the library was being forced to shift its focus toward mentoring entepreneurs rather than supplying hard data. She proved her point by giving me the names of several websites for research that proved extremely helpful, and even letting me photocopy the zip code map in the Brooklyn phone book. (I'll spare you the details of my research, but one of these day

Review #34: E Unum Pluribus

I've got a lot on my mind and on my plate these days (wedding planning, volunteer projects, business planning, conferences, side projects... you get the idea), so I haven't been reading blogs and trolling the internet like I (perhaps) should. So no Link-Mad Monday again today -- just a review of one of the most intriguing works of fiction I've read in a long time. I'm gonna remind you of this again at the end, but the author is reading from this book tomorrow night (Tuesday the 21st) at McNally Robinson at 7pm -- I'll be there, and I highly recommend it. Review #34 HALF LIFE by Shelley Jackson (HarperCollins, July 2006) I noticed the beautiful Rorschach of a cover, and wondered where I'd heard that author's name before. Eventually I realized that in addition to writing "acclaimed short story collection" THE MELANCHOLY OF ANATOMY, she also did the illustrations for Kelly Link's short story collection MAGIC FOR BEGINNERS, one of my favorite

Comment: The Corrections

Corrections to Wednesday's post: The photograph documenting Good Yarns' one-year anniversary party did not appear in Publishers Weekly, as I stated. It appeared (of course) in Shelf Awareness, July 7 edition. I bet you could even still find it in their archives. Also, Amanda Lydon didn't start up Osondu with no previous bookstore experience. She had previously worked in a bookstore in New York. Sorry about my lapses. Don't forget to make your voice heard on yesterday's questions and surveys!

Comment: Interview, Questions, Interview Questions

It's not my usual posting day, but I have a smitch of time and some odds and ends for y'all. Simon Owen of the media commentary and interview blog Bloggasm has an interview with yours truly . He does his research on everyone he contacts, which makes for some interesting questions (also check out the interview with C. Max Magee of The Millions ). I got a chance to send shout-outs to my favorite book industry lit-bloggers at the end; thanks for being around, guys! - - - Two blogs have posed open-ended questions to readership lately, and I thought I'd extend the questions to you. Feel free to respond in comments here, or on the source blogs. Matthew Tiffany of Condalmo asks , what's with the hostility toward the short story? I never got around to answering the question myself, but several others did, and Matt has compiled their comments in this post . Feel free to continue the conversation with your own thoughts on short fiction and its discontents. Dan Wicket of the

Chronicle: Bookstores: The Voices and Visions of Angela Roach; A Day In The Life of Good Yarns

[Note: I'm having trouble uploading photos to Blogger again, so I'll add the photos to this post later if I can.] As I'm working on the business plan for my eventual Brooklyn bookstore, and as I'm getting to know my fellow booksellers through the New Atlantic Independent Bookstore Association and the Emerging Leaders project, I've gotten the opportunity to spend time in some great independent bookstores. All of you readers and book people probably spend a fair amount of time in bookstores, as I do, but it's surprising what I've begun to notice as I'm looking at these stores from a business person's perspective. What follows are accounts of my recent visits to two area bookstores that have taught me a great deal about good bookselling and good business sense – not to mention being home to delightful booksellers. Voices & Visions The Bourse, Philadelphia, PA Proprietor: Angela Roach I met Angela at an "Emerging Leaders" meeting sponsor

Reviews #30, #31, #32, #33: The Foreign Country of History and the Right Amount of Adventure

I'll forego the traditional link madness today in the interest of catching up on some book reviews. These are more or less in the order read. My calendar says we're in Week 33 of the calendar year, so I'm right on schedule for hitting that 52 books mark this year! (Just one linky suggestion: the discussion has begun over at the Litblog Co-op of MICHAEL MARTONE by Michael Martone, and several of that clever gang are writing their comments in the form of fictional autobiographical "Contributor Notes," in homage to the form of Martone's experimental novel. It's a funny way to find out everything that never happened to Dan Wickett and Edward Champion, and may turn you on to a new book. My comments won't show up there until the fall round of titles, but everything these guys pick tends to be interesting.) Book Review #30 BROOKLAND by Emily Barton (FSG, February 2006) This one has been on my to-be-read list for a long time. As a devoted Brooklynite, as w

Chronicle/Comment: Recap of Time Off, Preview of Upcoming Events...

Okay, as I might have suspected, it's taking longer than I anticipated to recover from my little vacation. I spent the weekend here at my baby sister's wedding, which was completely wonderful and exhausting, as weddings tend to be, and even more so because the weekend involved hiking, rafting, dressing up in bridesmaid clothes, and many meetings of new family members over huge meals. I'm back in Brooklyn, but still gathering my wits, so bear with me for a bit. I hope you've enjoyed the spirited exchange on the American Booksellers Association and the Booksense programs that's been happening here in my absence, starring Dave, Andy, Carl, and a few other brave souls willing to jump into the fray. I hope there's been a bit of learning from each other happening, as well as an articulation of our own positions. I would encourage anyone who has opinions on these matters to share your thoughts with the ABA leadership. You can find them by going to the ABA websit