Saturday, April 18, 2009

Yes, you're being warned

Thanks Bruce Sterling, and WiredBlog, for this informative bit on Kindle!

(Click below to read the whole nasty bit)

Kindle users have been grumbling lately about Amazon locking them out of their accounts. . .

Happy Record Store Day!

Today marks the 2nd annual Record Store Day, where independent music retailers across the country encourage music lovers to step away from the computer, face the sunshine, and walk into your favorite neighborhood record shop. With corporate heavyweights like Virgin Megastore liquidating their inventories, now is the time for the little guy to shine.

Here at our Green Apple Annex (520 Clement St.) we feature new, used, and rare vinyl, all lovingly handpicked by our two music professors Scotty B. and Johnny P. (but please don't tell them I called them that). Our CDs range from buzz bands to something off the beaten path and pretty much everything in-between, again all selected by us.

So whether you're venturing into our 'hood or not, support your local record store (and here in this city, we've gone tons). And when you do come by, we promise you we won't treat you like this:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Some days are like this

I've been buying used books for Green Apple the better part of two decades by now, and I can honestly say that the unexpected nature of book buying has contributed in a huge way to my sustained interest in my work. From day to day I have absolutely no idea what gems will walk past Mergatroid and enter our front door. But the real kick is when I make house-calls and purchase entire private collections - we call those appointments "out buys." These can be hit-or-miss (like the one time I entered a person's "library" and encountered an entire wall of books, sliced down the middle, so that there was only the 3 or 4 inches near the spine left. "The shelves are too narrow for the whole books" the owners told me. I didn't tell them what I was thinking_), but when the books are good, it can really pay off. Just like last week when I filled the store truck to the brim, twice, buying an AWESOME batch of stuff. . .
So, calling all H.P. Lovecraft fans!!!
Check the horror section over the next couple of weeks when hundreds of books, games, comics and even tarot cards will make their presence known. These books are not being listed on-line, so Cthulhu Mythos is only in the house, yo! And not just H.P. but catalogues of his library, primal sources, works inspired by and much, much more. But that's just the Cthulhu stuff. We also boosted our metaphysics section by like 500 titles. And magick (note the "K") we got tons. Like the rare 'Lords of the Left-Hand Path' or Tyson's "Three Books of Occult Philosophy." How about a lovely hardcover copy in dustjacket of 'The Grimoire of Armadel'? And it goes on and on and on. . . A big batch of stuff like this doesn't come in everyday, but when it does, the buzz around the store is palpable.
So if you've got a yen for the dark stuff, swing on by. By the way, did you know that Anton LaVey was a regular customer for years? And if you've got a large library that needs to be gone, give us a ring, chances are we can help!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why I Read by Dave Eggers

Here's another in our series of original short essays written for Green Apple's monthly email newsletter. In fact, it's the one that launched the series.

In the summer of 2006, we asked local author/publisher Dave Eggers to write an essay introducing Give a Kid Some Credit (to celebrate our 40th anniversary, we gave every 3rd grader in SF public school a $10 credit at the store; luckily not all 3,900 kids redeemed them). We didn't actually use his essay for the brochure (the mayor beat him out), but it got us thinking about things. Kind of. . . .

Here's Dave Eggers on "Why I Read":

I could sit here and say you should read because it makes your brain bigger and enriches your life in a thousand ways and makes you more attractive to everyone you love and want to love—and that’s all true —but the main reason I read is to avoid being eaten by goats. I don’t know about you, but I live around a lot of goats, and they love to eat people. And the only thing that seems to thwart them is books. Sometimes you can hit them over the head with your book, but usually just the sight of someone with a book is enough to send them on their way. I can’t tell you how many times I was almost eaten by a goat. Dozens, probably. And every time they’re about to cut into my foot with these big steak knives they use, they see me reading and they say, “Oh, okay. Forget it, man,” and then they go eat someone watching TV instead. So reading has that going for it. --Dave Eggers

Here are links to the other three (posted so far) "Why I Read" essays: by Peter Rock, Beth Lisick, and Susan Choi.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Art of the Shelf-Talker...

Shelf-Talkers are a very important part of Green Apple. You see them all over the store giving you advice on why you should read those books. Most of them you see on the display tables & the Staff Favorites, but they are strewn all over the store. Those of you who shop our store frequently probably recognize handwriting & initials & know whose taste suits you most. This week I thought I’d highlight a few for you. Part of the beauty is the handwritten & sometimes illustrated work that goes into the shelf-talker, other times it can just be the be the writing that draws you in.

(Click on the pictures to see a larger size)

Bing: Yuk! - Part of the beauty of this one is that the shelf-talker itself is bigger then the book.

Stuff White People Like -

A Fan's Notes -

Bigfoot: I Not Dead -
A Drink With Shane Magowan -

Sunday, April 12, 2009

GBL - Literary Feuds

Although we operate from two buildings a couple doors apart (our Main store and Annex, at 506 and 520 Clement St., respectively) we don't necessarily have the luxury of space. Green Apple is crammed, jammed, stuffed, bursting, stacked, packed, and occasionally toppling over with books, albums, magazines, DVDs, merchandise, greeting cards, and clothing.

Naturally, books are our predominant obsession, and we're always coming up with news ways - and places - to present to you, dear reader, the books we love. Aware of the possible double entendre, I'll risk it anyway: at Green Apple all holes are quickly filled. When an empty spot opens on a shelf or on the floor or even under our counters, we rush to fill it in. Sometimes it feels like we don't have to do anything; it happens naturally. Above all, Green Apple abhors a vacuum.

One of the spaces we utilize is our cramped, highly-trafficked, and intimate landing. (You can really get to know a person after spending some time with him or her there.) The section we call the 'GBL' may seem a bit, well, inconvenient, but its 12 themed bookshelves provide us with a chance to be creative and showcase older books we're not quite ready to let fade into obscurity just yet, or those that are primed for a renaissance.

This week we've come up with several new themes around which to fill our landing shelves. The one I want to write about tonight will explain the shiner Gabriel Garcia Marquez beamingly sports at the top of the post: The Shelf of Literary Feuds.

Featured on this contentious shelf are a handful of literary heavyweights who, for reasons mysterious and obvious, just couldn't get along: Norman Mailer v. Gore Vidal v. Truman Capote; Gabriel Garcia Marquez v. Mario Vargas Llosa (whose fist was responsible for the shiner) and Salman Rushdie v. John Le Carre.

We've provided the scoop on the feuds on the shelf, so I won't get into it too much here, but the story behind the Norman Mailer/Gore Vidal feud is particularly worth recalling:

Norman Mailer was so rankled over a comparison Vidal had drawn years earlier - "From Henry Miller to Norman Mailer to Charles Manson there is a natural progression" - that, upon finding himself at a party with Vidal, he threw his glass at Vidal's head and ran to tackle him. After Mailer was pulled off his nemesis, Vidal quipped from the floor: "Words fail Norman Mailer yet again."