Friday, January 22, 2010

She can always buy from us...

A sad story coming out of Texas today - it seems that the Barnes and Noble is closing in the town of Laredo, which might have been welcome news to the independent booksellers there, except that there are no other bookstores in this town of 250,000. In fact, the next closest bookstore of any kind to Laredo is some 150 miles away...UGH! A 14 year old girl in Laredo named Zhuara Rivera is circulating a petition to try and save the store, but even though it is a profitable location, the chain itself is in the red - so it seems like curtains for the Laredo branch.

So, the big boxes move in and force the independents out (we've all heard this one before). But then the big box has fiscal issues and makes the corporate decision from afar to close a profitable store because the massive scale of their operation is losing money. With well over 700 Barnes and Noble bookstores throughout the U.S. employing some 40,000 people, it makes me wonder how many situations like Laredo we're going to see over the next few years.

Fight the good fight Ms. Rivera! But if you ever need the help of an independent bookseller who won't turn its back on you, drop us a line at and I'll make sure that you get free shipping for life!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Clobberin' Time

The cool folks (or folk, I'm not really sure) behind Hey Oscar Wilde! It's Clobberin' Time just updated their site. If you didn't catch my previous post then... well, heck. It doesn't really matter. Just check out the site and see what it is for yourself. It's a whole lot of fun.

Rabo Karabekian by Dustin Harbin

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Panorama...Is Back!!

I you didn't get one before, get yours now!
Don't know what is is?
Here you go!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

By Tom Gauld

Tom Gauld most recently produced a board book called The Gigantic Robot, illustrated the new Penguin edition of The Three Musketeers, and creates comics that (usually) satirize literature (in a loving way) for The Guardian UK, The Believer, and wherever else has figured out that he's funnier than The Fusco Brothers.

Moves afoot

It's that time of year. Calendars are almost gone (though there's a decent selection left at 50% off if you're not too picky). Which means we have 15 bookcases to fill until September.

Each year at this time of January, Tetris dreams plague my nights and sales per linear foot analysis fills my days. This year, we're moving with a little more boldness than in years past.

In short, we're responding to change: our customers are buying fewer CDs and DVDs but more books for kids. Audio books are losing ground as cookbooks hold steady. Blank books and journals still sell well, and graphic novels don't work as ebooks (yet?), so we'll expand those and contract other sluggish areas.

Which is a long way of saying two things:

1) Pardon our dust as we move. In the end, the store will offer more of what you want and less of what you don't want; and

2) Please ask if your favorite section moved.

It'll take a few weeks to move everything, get new store maps ready, etc. Meanwhile, we're here to help, and there are bargains to be had in new DVDs, CDs, calendars, holiday cards, etc.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Сигизму́нд Домини́кович Кржижано́вский

Sigizmund Krzhizanovsky is not the name one usually connects with one of the great early twentieth century writers. In his own time Krzhizanovsky was not even known as a great writer in Moscow. Spain's Enrique Vila-Matas could have added him to Bartleby & Co. as a silent writer...

With NYRB's release of Memories of the Future, this is not a likely mistake to occur again.

Krzhizanovsky described himself as being "known for being unknown." Though he was active in Moscow's literary scene of the 20's he was not widely published or read. It wasn't until 1989 that the Russian scholar, Vadim Perelmute, published the first of a series of stories written by Krzhizanovsky. He has now emerged as a leading Soviet writer, though of course, posthumously.

Memories of the Future is the first English translation of Krzhizanovsky's work, and it is incredible. The strangeness in Krzhizanovsky's world, is one that comes through an observation of the mundane and its eventual transformation into the sinister or twisted.

Just knowing that there are 4 more volumes of Krzhizanovsky's work makes me smile inwardly at knowing that there will be more for me to enjoy in the years to come.