Showing posts from October, 2007

A Sabbatical, Of Sorts

As some of you have pointed out, I tend to take on a lot of projects. And what with NAIBA and various shift switches, I haven't had a full day off from the bookstore in nearly three weeks. Earlier this week it got to that critical mass of tiredness -- panicky tired, teary tired, veering between lashing out and zoning out tired. As I'm about to jump in to another, perhaps more intense work time in my life, I feel that now is the time to get a little rest and get ready. So, until sometime in early November, I'm letting some things slide a little and doing like other professional readers (i.e. academics) do: giving myself a sabbatical. No blogging, only emergency emails (so forgive me if I owe you a reply). Lots of sleeping in, lots of long meals with the ALP, lots of reading for pleasure. It's only for a week or two , but I think it will help. Right now, I'm going to run a bath, pour a glass of red wine, and find my place in Night Train to Lisbon . I'll see y

Book Nerd and BookStream

No link madness today, folks. Instead, as promised, here's the big news: On Sunday night at NAIBA, I sat in the hotel bar with Jack Herr, the president of BookStream , and my friend Carolyn Bennett, a BookStream sales rep, and hammered out the details of an arrangement that had been in the air for a while, by which this independent bookseller will become an employee of the independent wholesaler. So what does this mean, and why am I doing it? It doesn’t mean I'm leaving the bookstore. It doesn’t mean I'm leaving Brooklyn. It doesn't mean I've abandoned my dream of having my own store, or that I'm selling out on my indie ideology. In fact, it's a way to get a little closer to the dream, and a way to work and learn and connect more with the indie bookstore community. First, just in case you don't work in the book industry or you're not familiar with this particular company, let's talk about book wholesalers. In addition to ordering books direct

NAIBA wrap-up/run-down

It seems to me that the chronicling of this past weekend's NAIBA Con in Baltimore has been done very effectively by other folks! For very good overall descriptions of the action, the vibe, and the major players (authors, publishers, and booksellers) at the Baltimore Sheraton, I recommend: Susan L. Weis and Shannon McKenna Schmidt writing in today's Shelf Awareness . Their article "NAIBA's New Conference Format Draws Raves" does a great job of summarizing the whole show, describing some of the highlights with quotations from booksellers who were there. Kelley Drahushuk of Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson, New York, with a piece titled "Booksellers Win Big at NAIBA Fall Conference" in Bookselling this week. I love that both pieces include as a highlight the booksellers' own "Pick of the Lists", the impromptu result of a suggestion by Carla Cohen after the sales reps' Pick of the Lists (perhaps we should officially include Booksell

The ALP is famous!

NAIBA was a blast -- I promise plenty of write-ups and run-downs later this week. In the meantime, though, and more importantly, I find that I am the proud wife of a published author. The ALP has had his first story published! It's published online, not in print -- in the fiction section of a Special Report from on "The Future". But who am I to discriminate between web content and paper and ink? Especially because he definitely got paid for it. And it's a darn good story (witty, allusive, funny dialogue). And it's at the top of a list of authors that includes Max Barry, Cory Doctorow, and Warren Ellis. I'll just be basking in the reflected glory if you need me...


Killing two birds with one stone, I'm making my plans for this weekend's NAIBA -Con (also known as the NAIBA fall conference) in Baltimore and blogging as well! Ha! Today: Pack. Print out handouts for Internet panel and Emerging Leaders meeting Saturday: 10:00 Meet my colleague Adjua at Penn Station to take the train to Baltimore. Afternoon: visit Baltimore bookstores, including breathe books and Atomic Books . Can't wait to talk to these great booksellers and check out their stores -- honestly, this is one of the main reasons I've advocated to have the conference in Baltimore! 6:30 NAIBA board reception 8:00 Early Bird buffet supper 9:30 Quiz Bowl! This was way too much fun last year, mostly thanks to Quiz Master Joe Drabyak -- hopefully Arthur Phillips won't be there to show up all the booksellers' literary knowledge. I'm hoping to round up an Emerging Leaders team to show what the young'uns know... Sunday: 8:00 (if I'm ambitious) Walk down

Link-Mad Wednesday

On Friday I'll be gearing up for NAIBA Con this weekend, and I'll give you the rundown on my schedule and what there is to look forward too. (Amazingly, registration is still open, so if there's any way you can make it to Baltimore Sunday or Monday -- come, come, come!) In the meantime, here are some links that just won't wait. - Today was the first time I've ever seen a book-related blog first thing when I logged in to my Blogger account, and it makes perfect sense: it's Robert Warren's amazing PostSecret blog . The latest book, A Lifetime of Secrets , just came out, and there's a pretty well-done YouTube video about it (except for that tagline at the end -- a tad cheesy.) - Backlash is an inevitable result of prominence, I guess. Melvin Charles Bukiet has a Brooklyn-hating article in The American Scholar , in which he accuses J.S. Foer, Myla Goldberg, and Nicole Krauss, as well as Dave Eggers and Alice Sebold (who don't actually live in Broo

Brooklyn Lit Life: Sarah Weinman

This might sound silly, but maybe not all Brooklynites live in Brooklyn. I know Sarah Weinman, subject of today's interview, from the blogging world -- she's a member emeritus of the Litblog Co-Op -- but over the past year we've had coffee at Gorilla and run into each other at various Brooklyn and Manhattan events, and had great discussions about the possibilities for literature (and bookstores) in the borough. As a crime fiction critic, I feel she's got a great sense of place and atmosphere, and I'm proud to include her in the Brooklyn Lit Life project under her moniker of choice: "Sarah Weinman, faux-Brooklynite." Brooklyn Lit Life Interview Sarah Weinman Describe your particular literary project, and your role in it. I'm a freelance writer and wear a number of hats. I co-edit GalleyCat ,'s publishing industry news blog; I write monthly crime fiction columns for the LA Times Book Review and the Baltimore Sun ; I contribute to

"I guess I should stop reading this book and put some pants on."

"The story of your life," said the ALP, sympathetically. This is the book that's taken over my life, that I'm so morose at having to put down in order to leave the house. Sorry no post today.

Wednesday Reviews: Diaz, Shepard

Two brief reviews of books that deserve much more -- links to further coverage provided. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (Riverhead, September 2007) You've never heard of this book before, right? Diaz' first book since his class short story collection Drown has turned out to be a huge publishing event, inspiring everyone from Michiko Kakutani to bloggers galore to heights of praise. I can't give you much more -- just my own little story. I read the short story that formed the foundation for BWL of OW in an anthology the ALP picked up called Rotten English -- a collection of prose and poetry written in non-standard or dialect English. Diaz was probably the most famous of the lot, but he certainly fits the bill -- Oscar Wao is studded with Spanish and Spanglish words and construction, and, my favorite, often uses the word "dude" as the subject (first example I can find in the novel, in a footnote, in parentheses: "(dude had bomber wi

Monday Chronicle: NEIBA Trade Show

Friday morning I boarded the Amtrak train (such a blissful way to travel!) for Providence, RI, to join the New England Independent Booksellers Association for their fall trade show. I was sorry to miss Thursday, which judging by the trade show schedule had a ton of excellent educational programming, but since my panel on bookstores and digital tools was on Friday, I was only there for Friday and Saturday morning. But as usual at the fall shows, a lot got packed in! I stepped out of the cab and into the Providence convention center, made a beeline for the show floor. NEIBA is operating under a similar strategy to NAIBA's show this year, with a smaller, more streamlined trade show floor focused on "pick of the lists" and helping booksellers sell more books, rather than trying to showcase every title from every publisher. The show floor was therefore smallish and felt very manageable, even in the few hours I had to spare, but I still found myself coming away with a bag