It's often that a venerable New York institution gets crushed under the thumb of Manhattan real estate development. But its far less frequent that they rise like a phoenix from the ashes of their last incarnation in grand style, in an even more desirable neighborhood, all while retaining the essentials elements of its original charm. Rizzoli Bookstore is about to do just that.
The 50-year-old New York bookseller specializes in art and illustrated titles, and shuttered its flagship location on 57th Street last April after its lease expired and building owners decided to tear down the building.
"Go Set a Watchman" is breaking records for booksellers across the nation.
That includes the country's second-largest book store, which shares a home state with the book's author.
Books-A-Million (NYSE: BAMM) isn't saying exactly how many copies it has on pre-sale "for strategic reasons," according to CEO Terrance Finley. But it's the most-preordered novel in the company's history. The book did not beat out Harry Potter, which Books-A-Million calls a "children's" book.
"From a business perspective, we took the position that we had to make this ours, because we're an Alabama company," Finley said.
It's good to learn that Canada's dominant bookstore chain, Indigo has announced it will re-focus on books and is redesigning its stores to emphasis the company's role as a bookseller - in part by expanding 40% discounts to the top selling 100 titles - a practice that echoes the strategy of Barnes & Nobel from the early 1990s when the company was in an aggressive expansion mode.
How are bookstores and video stores similar?
I am probably asked that question more than anyone else in the known universe, because I work in a bookstore, and I also recently published a novel set in a struggling video store.
I have pat answers prepared. But it's the subtext of the question I find most interesting. What people are really asking is, Isn't it sad how bookstores are going the way of video stores, that is, off this mortal coil?
"Yes, it's very sad," I want to say. "Except it isn't true."
No examination of the Bay Area publishing scene would be complete without highlighting the many digital publishing and distribution startups in the area.
It's not just that Tsutaya feels more upscale than other bookstores. It's that it celebrates words and books, and the people who read and write them, in a thoughtful, seductive, and ultra-contemporary way.
Don't get me wrong: This is a business, not a cultural institution. It sells books from 7:00 am till 2:00 am every day of the week, closing only to clean and restock. And it's always packed. This first location has proved such a hit that another site has already opened in the Kanagawa area outside Tokyo
US bookstores may soon face competition from their northern neighbor. Indigo Books & Music, Canada's biggest bookstore chain, was one of North America's only big-box chain bookstores that survived the threats posed by e-reading and Amazon. Now, Indigo says it wants to expand in the US.
That's according to Chief Executive Officer Heather Reisman, who spoke withBloomberg in an article published Tuesday. "I want the stock back up at 20 and beyond, that's my ambition: make this thrive and then take it outside the country," Ms. Reisman told Bloomberg.
Over the last two years, the company began demonstrating solid signs of recovery. Barnes & Noble paid off all of its outstanding debt, and as of January 31, 2015, the only obligations it has are operating leases and preferred convertible shares. The company also shifted away from its device-centered strategy to a content-centered strategy for the Nook by signing an agreement with Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) to sell co-branded tablets carrying the Nook logo.
With the number of indie bookstores in the US growing every year, no one can argue that they are on the rise. B&N may be closing stores left, right, and center, but indies are doing great. That is why I found myself deeply confused when I read this bit on The Bookseller yesterday:
Standing in this beautiful new Foyles store to launch ALLi's Authors For Bookstores campaign, for a moment we can fool ourselves that reports of the decline of bricks-and-mortar bookshops are greatly exaggerated.