Tomorrow, December 1st, 2012 is the third annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. The day was started as a way to encourage parents to get their kids in bookstores and browsing; simply to instill a love of books and bookstores. Needless to say Take Your Child to a Bookstore has grown into more of a movement as bookstores offer deals and the group’s plans have grown. However you approach it, getting kids into a bookstore and getting them excited about all of the possibilities offered is a great idea.
The group’s map only lists two shops in Alabama as “officially” participating, Capital Book & News in Montgomery and Page and Palette in Fairhope. Are there others? No doubt, every day is a great day to get the kids into bookshops, but it’s nice when something crops up to put indie bookstores back in the media. You can keep up with the Take Your Child to a Bookstore folks on their Facebook page or site.
I love articles like this one over at The Paris Review where a writer got to go book shopping with Michael Dirda. It is so cool that one of the greatest book reviewers alive and one who has written about “the classics” spends so much time in the SciFi section of used-bookstores. The whole article is worth reading as it shares a love of books, book hunting and the joy of serendipity.
A great quote by the article’s author:
“. . . you don’t get to be the best-read man in America by giving a damn about someone else’s taste.”
Oh to bump into Michael Dirda, who says he has about 10,000 books and is “a sucker for pretty books”, in a book store aisle. Over the course of the article Dirda declares Joseph Mitchell’s Up in the Old Hotel as “. . . the greatest book ever”. So that one is now on my ‘books to read’ list.
I also took the time to make a list of the books that Dirda recommends or buys throughout the story. So if you’re looking for something worthwhile, these might be worth looking up. What’s fun is that not all of them are “stuffy”. There are spaceships and sailboats too!
Rick Brant’s ‘Electronic Adventure’ series
anything by Tom Swift
Arnold Bennett’s The Card
Pym (the edition edited and annotated by Harold Beaver)
M.F.K. Fisher’s Two Towns in Provence
Joseph Mitchell’s Up in the Old Hotel
Alberto Manguel’s Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Fiction
Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man
Dorothy Sayers’s Omnibus of Crime
Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time
Harry Kemelman’s The Nine-Mile Walk
Ross Thomas’s Chinaman’s Chance
Two Alabama bookstores are featured in the soon-to-be-released book My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop. Both the Alabama Booksmith and Fairhope’s Page & Palette made the cut! The book, published by Black Dog & Levanthal, hits bookstore shelves on November 13th and is a collection of essays written by famous authors about their favorite bookstore haunts. You can get a preview of the book over on Scribd where the publisher is sharing some essays. Be sure to check out the publisher’s own site as well so you can check the map and add your own favorite bookstore and share your story.
It looks to be a great read of not only some of nation’s neatest local bookstores that writers enjoy, but also dives into WHY they enjoy them. Rick Bragg wrote the feature on the Alabama Booksmith while Fannie Flagg wrote about Page & Palette (where the rumor is she got locked in a closet!?) I hear the book is indeed a true celebration of the impact bookstores have on their communities and the creative readers that pass through the doors. This is one book I am really looking forward to.
Here is a complete listing of all the bookstores and the author’s that wrote about them:
- Fannie Flagg—Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
- Rick Bragg—Alabama Booksmith, Homewood, AL
- John Grisham—That Bookstore in Blytheville, Blytheville, AR
- Ron Carlson—Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
- Ann Packer—Capitola Book Café, Capitola, CA
- Isabel Allende—Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA
- Mahbod Seraji—Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, CA
- Lisa See—Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA
- Meg Waite Clayton—Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
- Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown—The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA
- Dave Eggers—Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
- Pico Iyer—Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA
- Laurie R. King—Bookshop Santa Cruz, CA
- Scott Lasser—Explore Booksellers, Aspen, CO
- Stephen White—Tattered Cover Book Store, Devner, CO
- Kate Niles—Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO
- Ann Haywood Leal—Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
- Florence and Wendell Minor—The Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT
- Rick Atkinson—Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC
- Les Standiford—Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL
- Robert Macomber—The Muse Book Shop, Deland, FL
- David Fulmer—Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, GA
- Abraham Verghese—Prairie Lights, Iowa City, IA
- Luis Alberto Urrea—Anderson’s Bookshops, Naperville, IL
- Mike Leonard—The Book Stall Chestnut Court, Winnetka, IL
- Albert Goldbarth—Watermark Books, Wichita, KS
- Wendell Berry—Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY
- Edith Pearlman—Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA
- Mameve Medwed—Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
- Henry Louis Gates, Jr.—Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
- Simon Winchester—The Bookloft, Great Barrington, MA
- Nancy Thayer—Mitchell’s Book Corner, Nantucket, MA
- Elin Hilderbrand—Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, MA
- Jeanne Birdsall—Broadside Bookshop, Northampton, MA
- Martha Ackmann—Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
- Ward Just—Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA
- Ron Currie, Jr.—Longfellow Books, Portland, ME
- Nancy Shaw—Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI
- Katrina Kittle—Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
- Ann Patchett—Mclean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI
- Kathleen Finneran—Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO
- Barry Moser—Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS
- Jack Pendarvis—Square Books, Oxford, MS
- Jill McCorkle—Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
- Carrie Ryan—Park Road Books, Charlotte NC
- Laurent Dubois—The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, NC
- Lee Smith—Purple Crow Books, Hillsborough, NC
- Angela Davis-Gardner—Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC
- Ron Rash—City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, NC
- Ian Frazier—Watchung Booksellers, Montclair, NJ
- Joan Wickersham—The Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH
- Carmela Ciuraru—Community Bookstore, Brooklyn NY
- Matt Weiland—Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
- Kate Christensen—Word, Brooklyn, NY
- Mick Cochrane—Talking Leaves Books, Buffalo, NY
- Caroline Leavitt—McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY
- Arthur Nersesian—St. Mark’s Bookshop, New York, NY
- Francine Prose & Pete Hamill—Strand Bookstore, New York, NY
- Chuck Palahniuk—Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
- Larry Kane—Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA
- Ann Hood—Island Books, Middletown, RI
- Mindy Friddle—Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
- Adam Ross—Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN
- Douglas Brinkley—BookPeople, Austin, TX
- Terry Tempest Williams—The King’s English Book Shop, Salt Lake City, UT
- Robert Goolrick—Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA
- Howard Frank Mosher—Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT
- Jon Clinch—Northshire Bookstore, Manchester, VT
- Jonathan Evison—Eagle Harbor Book Co., Bainbridge Island, WA
- Tom Robbins—Village Books, Bellingham, WA
- Sherman Alexie—Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
- Garth Stein—Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA
- Ivan Doig—University Book Store, Seattle, WA
- Lesley Kagen—Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
- Liam Callanan—Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
Yes, I know. It is Banned Books Week here in the states. But it is also the last Buy A Friend A Book Week of 2012, which I think is much cooler. While it doesn’t carry the emotionally charged fear of being told what not to read, it’s a great idea that encourages you to match up the right book with the right friend and make it happen. That’s it. It’s that simple.
Pick a friend. Pick the book. Buy from a local bookshop. Deliver said book. It is the best of all worlds.
I have my friend picked out this time (BAFAB week happens four
times a year) and the title list narrowed down to three possible books. I just need to see what’s in stock around Birmingham. The next BAFAB week isn’t until the first week of January 2013. Until them you can follow BAFAB Twitter, though as you can tell from their tweet stream they are really only active during BAFAB weeks.
Anyone else going to give this a try this week?
These kinds of things are always fun… check out this flowchart to the Universe of Stephen King books. I had no idea that so many elements and references threaded through his books. These kinds of easter eggs are exactly what fans like. You can go see the original post (and future updates) over on Gillian’s blog or click the image below to see the huge flowchart/info-graphic:
Here’s one I haven’t read yet (it comes out August 7th, William Morrow/Harper Collins), but I’m pretty excited about it. Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing is a collection of pieces by Neal Stephenson. Much of Stephenson’s new book is non-fiction, but I’ve heard there a couple of short stories as well. In the book Stephenson talks about his geek travels where he travels to far off places just to witness the installation of fiber optic internet connections in some remote pocket of Asia. He also tries to make a case for “modern Jedi knights”, chats metaphysics and technology/freedom vs. the Chinese. So it’s all over the place. Should be fun!
If this book is as detailed and accessible as his fiction, I know it’s one I am going to enjoy.
Anything new coming out that you’re looking forward to?
This past week saw a new world record was set for the most money paid for an American book. The winning $9,826,500 bid was placed, at Christie’s, by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association which won them George Washington’s personal copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights printed in 1789.
What makes this book so cool is that it has all of Washington’s notes and thoughts scribbled throughout. Pretty crazy to think about George holding this very book while circling passages as he (and the rest of the country) is trying to figure out just what all the President is allowed to do. Very very cool. The book is making its way back to Mount Vernon where it was until 1876, when it began its journey through private libraries and auction houses.
Yesterday, I posted about the 10 Most Read Books in the World over the last 50 years. Today, I am curious as to how that compares to the Most Read Books in the United States in 2011. While poking around Nielsen listings I found that USA Today already did all of the math back in January 2012, so that’s the source here. I also did some combining. So if Suzanne Collins’ series took up three spots, I only gave it it’s top slot and brought the #11 and #12 best-sellers into the list.)
So, here’s the may-or-may not-be-statistically valid merged and arranged 2011 list of Best Sellers in the United States:
1. The Help – Kathryn Stockett
2. The Hunger Games (Series) – Suzanne Collins
3. Heaven is for Real – Todd Burpo
4. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever – Jeff Kinney
6. Steve Jobs: A Biography – Walter Isaacson
7. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Series) – Stieg Larsson
8. Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand
9. Inheritance – Christopher Paolini
10. The Son of Neptune: Heroes of Olympus – Rick Riordan
The books really seem to stack up evenly when compared to the last 50 years’ global numbers. Almost the same number of fiction vs. non-fiction, subject matter, etc. What is interesting is the overall consistency of the Young Adult books, between the two lists. The books aimed at younger readers do seem to be gaining steam. I wonder what the global list will look like in 50 years. . .
Here is a graphic posted over on Squidoo showing the Top 10 Most Read Books in the World, based on the last 50 years of sales. I honestly never thought that Think and Grow Rich (1937) would be on the list and we haven’t had time to add up all of the 50 Shades of Grey numbers. We live on a really interesting planet. . . I’ll leave it at that.
I also think it’s neat that Harry Potter (1997), The Da Vinci Code (2003) and Twilight (2005) all made the list even though all having been released in just the past 15 years. That’s pretty good pick up. And it’s interesting that they’re all fiction. In fact, over half of the books are fiction. I wonder what this list looked like in 1996 prior to Potter taking up his wand. . . was it more non-fiction or has fiction always had the larger slice of the pie?
Here is one that’s a bit exotic, if for no other reason than I can not find a US distributor. So ordering direct may be your only option. I have no idea what shipping from Japan would be, but this $40 porcelain vase would be very cool on most any bookshelf.
After translating the page, you can see that it’s called the Hana Paperback planter. It’s about the size of a trade paperback. What’s really nifty is the slipcase it comes in, so when you have no flower to show you can flip it around so the spine is facing out. This would be a very unique gift for any book lover.
Blogs I Like
- B’ham Public Library
- Book Chase
- Book Patrol
- Bookshelf Porn
- Exile Bibliophile
- Fine Books Blog
- Loud poet
- Nathalie Foy
- Oh My Godwin!
- Reed Next’s Next Read
- Turn the Page
- AL.com Books
- AL.com Books Forum
- Alabama Center for the Book
- Alabama Writers' Forum
- Bham Wiki
- Book TV
- Menasha Ridge Press
- The Literacy Council
- Book Art
- Book Collecting
- Book Column
- Book Covers
- Book Design
- Book Reviews
- Book Sale
- Book Talk
- Bookstore Ideas
- Digital Publishing
- Free Books
- Friday Finds
- Gifts for Book People
- New Releases
- On the TV
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- Publishing Industry News
- Site News
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- Upcoming Titles