Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Killer Kwanzaa! Freakin' Awesome Festivus, Etc., Etc...

We've gone into holiday hibernation and won't be posting again until Monday the 29th. In the interim, feel free to fill the comments section of this "post" with random thoughts, deliberated diatribes, and ways you think we could improve our bookstore's blog.
Happy Everything Involving Presents, Friends & Family!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Book News, In Brief

O...M...G. The next generation of hard SF writers is honing their craft the old fashioned way: In the pages of Teen Ink Magazine.

A new study finds that of the 13 million songs available for purchase on iTunes, 10 million weren't downloaded once. Needless to say, this doesn't bode well for publishers hoping e-books will breathe new life into niche titles.

Then again, perhaps "niche titles" weren't what Apple was planning on pimping. At least not "niche titles" with "objectionable content." Via iLounge: Apple recently rejected an iPhone-based version of a book because it contained foul language. Citing a clause in the iPhone SDK that states “applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgement (sic) may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users. For something so wordy, it sure is vague.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Inkwell Michelle's 30 Second Book Review

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
By Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
The charm and grace of this debut novel decisively made it my favorite recommendation of the summer. Set just after the end of World War II, English writer Juliet Ashton is fretfully seeking a topic for her next book. When she receives a mysterious letter from a stranger who found her name in a book by Charles Lamb, not only does it solve her writer's block, it introduces her to the quirky inhabitants of the island of Guernsey. Juliet finds solace in the stories of the inhabitants of Guernsey which was occupied for five years by the Germans during WWII. The novel is strikingly told through letters between the characters, and each voice is distinct and amusing. Guernsey is a loving ode to the transformative power of literature which can reveal hidden truths and help us through the darkest days.

Go, Look! (their unofficial motto: “We Read Boring Corporate Reports SEC Filings so you don’t have to!“) has put up an extensive analysis of what went wrong with Borders in the past few years, and what the teetering giant is currently doing to try and right itself. It's an interesting, informative read, and the author does a nice job of reflecting the fears of those inside the company -- from the boardroom fat cats all the way down to the "kids in college working nights and weekends for beer-and-comic-book money."

(Thanks to Journalista! for the link.)

Book News, In Brief

Obama chose poet Elizabeth Alexander to speak at his inauguration. Clinton chose Maya Angelou, then Miller Williams. JFK apparently kicked the whole trend off when he picked Robert Frost to recite The Gift Outright. Oh, and George W. Bush didn't have a poet at either of his inaugurations. So what does a president's pick of poets say about them? The Guardian UK speculates.

It's time to move your steamy Gavroche/Jean Valjean fanfic off of and onto Xlibris Print On Demand. A French court court ruled Friday that unauthorized sequels to Victor Hugo's Les Miserables are legal. (Note to local authors: Don't even think about it...)

Authorities have accused a 43-year-old woman of embezzling $350,000 from a Raleigh, NC independent bookstore between 2001 and 2008. $350K? In seven years?! We wish our bookstore was successful enough to make such crimes possible.

Ah, here's something more a bit more realistic: A what-to-do-with-your-books-when-your-bookstore-goes-out-of-business-article. (Thanks to for the link!)