Thursday, February 12, 2009

What We're Reading!

Here's the first edition ofWhat We're Reading, a segment that will feature Green Applers and customers alike, sharing their excitement about their latest reads. Today we have Green Applers AeRi and Chris, talking about The Housekeeper & the Professor by Yoko Ogawa and Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales:

Both books are available at Green Apple! Be sure to check out Laurence Gonzales's latest, Everyday Survival too!

What are you reading these days??? Hmmm??

Curating the Apple

Publishing/bookselling is, as you would think, kind of an old-fashioned business. While the e-book is gaining a little more traction every day, the UPS driver still carries most of the books we stock through our front door. And as they have for probably a hundred years, publishers' sales reps still go from store to store, meeting with the buyer and showing next seasons' wares. Lunch is eaten. Sometimes alcohol gets thrown into the mix. Very civilized. As the partner responsible for new books, it falls to me to meet with reps and go over the catalogs and pick out which titles I think will keep Green Apple in business for another 4 months. I got to looking at the shelf (pictured) by my desk that holds all of the catalogs for the current buying season. By my very rough estimation, my eyeballs have to pass over 25,000+ separate title listings to choose the 3,000 to 4,000 new books that will get ordered in a 4-month season. I've been asked how that decision gets made, why one book gets ordered and 7 others get passed over. It's more art than science. Many of the skips are easy: too commercial; bad jacket; an author whose last 3 books haven't sold. Others are harder: the subject seems interesting, maybe, but there are already too many similar books out there; or the price just seems too high. And some books call out: maybe the author is someone who has sold well before; maybe some pages are available to look at; maybe the word "Oprah" is whispered. And best of all, sometimes a book just feels like a Green Apple Book. Because ultimately, the most important thing to remember as a buyer is that I'm not actually the buyer, my customers are. I just have to try and imagine one or two of them finding a book compelling enough to plunk down $15 or $25 for it. It's important to put out a mix of titles, from the bestseller that every bookstore is going to have up front, to books like The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges Library of Babel, which my Oxford rep assures me Green Apple has sold more of than any other store in his territory. I'm proud to be a buyer for a store with such smart and interesting customers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hello, my name is...

GLAD to be blogging! are you glad to be reading the blogging that is making me glad to be blogging? well, if not now, soon you shall be. . . ANYWAY. . .

also glad about the success of bolano's 2666, november's book of the month here at green apple, and one of the most astounding works of literature i've ever read. i've been shouting about this book since i started it (in galley) in june, and this is one of those instances when it has really paid off! aside from topping most 'best of' lists in 2008, we've sold close to 200 in a couple of months. for a work in translation from a deceased author - amazing! sometimes it seems that noone hears you, and then something like this gets traction. feels pretty good.

which is just one additional reason that i'm soooooo excited to begin selling chris cleave's little bee, which just hit the shelves this week. it's the kind of book that any type of reader will fall for, and will almost certainly pass along to a friend. it's going to be the march book of the month, so check back for a full description soon, and take this time to clear off your nightstand of any other lingering reads or little bee will knock them onto your floor.

pulp of the week:

Suicide Girls heading our way 2/27

Green Apple doesn't have a regular events series--our store is packed with bookcases and books, not chairs. But on occasion, just the right thing comes along. This is not right for everyone, but for certain folks, our upcoming event with some Suicide Girls is just the thing to start off a Friday night.

Friday, February 27: SuicideGirls at the 540 Club

SuicideGirls has gone from a "membership-only pin-up website" to encompass magazines, tours, and books; their latest book is Suicide Girls: Beauty Redefined, featuring more of their trademark pictorials and style.

No tickets are required for this event. The 540 Club is on the same block as Green Apple, at 540 Clement St. Festivities begin at 8:00 p.m. Join us and some Suicide Girls for some vaguely edgy, sexy fun.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Welcome, and here's to hope

Welcome to the blog produced by your friends at Green Apple Books. We're not sure exactly what's to come, but we'll keep it interesting. The booksellers here are a humbly creative lot, and while we'll generally focus on books, authors, and our bookstore, we'll mostly just do our best to add an interesting something to each day that we're lucky enough to be here in the dusty shop.

We start, in early February, with a hopeful poem and a simple image. Despite the doom and gloom, people somehow keep coming to our store, as seen here from a camera we left running atop a stack of David Sedaris's When You Are Engulfed in Flames. So in between the hope of the inauguration and the promise of spring comes this short poem/video. The poem is "Sometimes" by Sheenagh Pugh.

Comment if you wish, about the poem, the video, or what you hope to see on our blog.