Not You too, Barnes & Noble…

bandnWhen I was growing up, my dad always gave me books for my birthday. Children’s books when I was little, and more literary fare when I was a teenager – books he’d read himself and loved. He worked in Manhattan and bought books home from the Barnes & Noble there. I still remember what the bags looked like (brown and white), and how excited I was knowing that inside them I would find books for me. Once or twice I actually got to go pick out my own books, in that New York City store that seemed huge. It was the seventies, before the era of the big box book retailers, so our options closer to home were limited to mall bookstores and one or two small independents. Continue reading

News and Announcements

Decisions, decisions…. – If you haven’t voted yet, don’t forget that our Annual Reader Poll runs through Sunday, January 20, 2013. I’ll admit that I’m one of those still procrastinating over my ballot. My votes for some of the categories jump out at me right away: The Siren was definitely the most unforgettable erotica I read this year and nothing was as much a tear-jerker for me as The Sleeping Night. However, it’s very hard for me to vote for just one book in some of the other categories.

So, what books are you all thinking about as you go over the poll this year? Continue reading

And the Saga Continues

nookkindle I must have been living under a rock. Until the advent of agency pricing, I didn’t realize the contentiousness and longevity of the thirty years’ book wars. Oh, I do remember talking with one of my favorite book sellers – a retired teacher that opened a book store in Memphis. She shared that she was having a difficult time competing with Waldenbooks. And I remember her talking in dismay about the proposed purchase of Ingram Book Group Inc. by Barnes and Noble. And sure I watched the 1998 comedy, “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks’s Fox & Sons Books putting out of business Meg Ryan’s Shop Around the Corner. However I moved away to a smaller town, and became cocooned against the bookstore closings. Then in the spring of 2010, agency pricing got my attention in a big way. Since then I’ve tried to keep up with the current changes.
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Barnes & Noble Nook Color: A Review

nook-colorUnconditional love – that’s what I give my lovely Nook Color.  I’ve now had it for three weeks, even though the device has been out since November, and I’ve got a fairly good idea of its capabilities.  First, it must be said that the NC is a very specific device.  It’s a color touch screen tablet that’s still, first and foremost, a device for reading books.  When it comes to reading, the NC mostly succeeds.  In other areas, not so much.

The Looooove

  • Reading Library Books: This is the most important reason that I got an eBook reader, and I have no complaints.  Adobe Digital Editions, that’s another matter.
  • Size:  I deliberately chose a larger size that more closely resembles (so it seems, anyway) the dimensions on a paper page, and I love the 8” x 5” dimensions with a 7” screen.  I’m all in favor of fewer page turns.
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I Miss Mall Bookstores

lAAR’s Ellen Micheletti was recently mourning the sad passing of a Waldenbooks in her town in Kentucky.  I well know the feeling.

Until about five years ago, there were two malls in my area — Tysons Corner in Virginia and Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland — that were the best places to find romance novels.  The B. Dalton in Tysons and the Waldenbooks in Maryland were part of what used to be ubiquitous mall chains.

What made them so special?  For a while there — and I’m talking five or more years — each store was lovingly tended by people who knew and cared about romance.  Books were shelved face out, letting publisher art departments do their job by inviting the reader to pick up a book and read the back copy. Books were also shelved on a regular basis so it actually paid to check back in frequently to see what new treasures might have arrived since my last visit.

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