Friday, November 20, 2009

See our new home...

Thanks for following us here. Now won't you follow us there... This will be your one stop shop for everything Bookshelf and Gallery.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Michael Recycle saves the earth

He read.
He sorted. in tights.

and he'll be back... to fight Litterbug Doug!

Sophisticated gifts for a very unsophisticated price at the Bookshelf

NPR Discovery CDs. Every month, somewhere around the first of the month, a small box comes in the mail. Inside are treasures, musical, magical treasures that fill the store with sounds of reflection, rejuvenation. We count on it, each month, to set the mood of the store. NPR’s monthly selection of six CDs is sure to dazzle the music afficianado and ignoramus alike. This month’s CDs are the latest from Patty Loveless, Sting, David Gray, the Avett Brotheers, Monsters of Folk, and the Swell Season. ($11-$19/CD)

Matchless: A Christmas Story by Gregory Maguire. From the man who reignited our love of Wizard of Oz, comes an enchanting retelling of The Little Match Girl. Snuggle up with your children, light a match and read this one by candlelight on a winter’s night. You’ll create a holiday memory you and your children won’t forget. ($19.99)

Bookshelf tee-shirts. Compliment the caustic reader in your life with the Bookshelf’s new tee: “Smart folks Read.” Or allow the idealist reader in your life to spread the potential of a book: “Once upon a time in a small bookstore in a small town, I found a book. I read it and loved it. It changed my life and so I passed it on. And before long, the world was safe again. ($15)

Friday, November 6, 2009

markin it down, baby.

I liked these (or at least liked the sound of them) and so I ordered a bunch. But they didn't sell and now I have to part with them... Unless you claim them at a sharply discounted price (50% off). They are all trade paperbacks and the list includes several Booker Prize, Pulitzer Prize finalists and National Book Critics awards.

White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Gathering by Anne Enright
Disgrace by JM Coetzee
Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
2666 by Roberto Bolano
People of the Whale by Linda Hogan
Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard by Erin McGraw
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison

Claim yours today!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Why didn't I read this earlier?

Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca begins with a dream. That generally turns me off. Other people’s dreams are dull. But several trusted customers repeatedly recommended Rebecca and it’s on the list of 50 Books to Read Before You Die that sits on the counter every day, so I kept reading.

And it was like a dream. Each night I picked up the book, I was transported back to the gracious estate of Manderley. I lived there for two glorious nights as Maxim De Winter takes his nameless young bride there. She soon discovers she will never fill the shoes of Maxim’s enchanting first wife, Rebecca. And then realizes she’d never want to. The beauty of this book is that the characters you think you know become so much more than you thought.

The book ends with more dreaming, but this time you won’t want to wake up. If you don’t yet know Rebecca, you’ll want to meet her. If you’ve already read it, you may want to read it again. I will.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Help David Beat Goliath

After a news blitz about the big boxes' price wars on the hot hardbacks for the season, my friends and associates in the indie book business are talking about final nails in their coffins. The American Booksellers Association has submitted a request to the Justice Department for an investigation into these potentially illegal predatory pricing practices.

Stephen King’s Under The Dome has a list price of $35. Retailers pay at least $17.50. Big box stores are selling this title for as low as 8.98. They are losing $8.50 per book. Imagine being in a business where you lose almost $10 per item on your most popular merchandise.

I’m green in the book business. We bought the store 2 years ago with a full awareness of the dismal future of books. So while the news of Amazilla’s practices make my stomach churn, it is not, perhaps, as devastating to me as it is to those heroic booksellers who have built their lives around finding the best books to bring to their customers. Still, it’s scary.

There’s some talk that these much-deflated prices will make books more accessible to the masses. But the danger is this: the power to decide which books are good enough to sell, which ideas are important enough to disseminate will rest with one or two conglomerates. And once the mega booksellers have driven all others out of the market, they can raise prices willy-nilly.

I’m a believer in capitalism and know we need to compete. I want to hear from our customers how we can serve you better than that faceless corporate giant. Here are some options—what’s your vote?

  1. Specialize in odd niches (does BAM have a section on Eastern European pottery from the years 1200-1600?) and rare books. (This poses some obvious problems in that our main sellers are pop fiction, but could give us a better web market).
  2. Become an idea center. Not sure how this would make money, but I sure do like the idea. Events, classes, resources. Oh wait, that might be called an institute.
  3. Sell more trade paperbacks that aren’t so discounted at the mega-stores and cool gifts that readers like.
  4. Fold.
  5. Develop our own e-reader that’s fully compatible with everything and… engineers? Programmers? Help.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Soon to the 'Shelf: Drive by Daniel Pink

I had one of those long nights of inspiration this weekend. Those nights like Jerry Maguire had when he wrote his applause-garnering mission statement. (Management promptly fired him). A stress-induced breakdown and a guilty conscience caused Jerry's. Daniel Pink and his upcoming motivational book caused mine. Not so much of a 12-step type book, in Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us (due out January 2010), Pink disects motivation and how to get it.

This book applies to everyone's lives. Indeed, all parts of our lives. As I read it, I see application in my business, my marriage, my leisure activities. It applies to the way we parent, the way we educate, the way we motivate. Pink's broad, relatable research will make you want to drop the sticks-and-carrots motivation of 2.0 and upgrade your life to motivation 3.0.

For people who liked: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, Freakonomics by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, or Pink's first book Whole New Mind.