South Florida Spellbound by New Bookstore

    Dennise Sleeper of Spellbound Books & Gifts in Homestead, Florida, described the store's soft opening on December 21 as "quiet." At the grand opening, however, which took place one month later, the 3,250-square-foot general bookstore was so packed "there was hardly room to turn around."

    Lorelei Lures Booklovers to Vicksburg

    On the Sunday following Thanksgiving, Laura and Troy Weeks opened Lorelei Books in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The two had moved to Vicksburg from Virginia and purchased an 1870s building in the historic downtown in 2005.

    An Open Book: Diary of a Soon-to-Be Independent Bookseller

    By Ann Lacefield

    October 5, 2006: What's in a Name?

    Garrison Keillor's Corner Books to Open in St. Paul

    A Prairie Home Companion's Garrison Keillor has, of course, been part of the literary world for years: he's the author of more than a dozen books, including Lake Wobegon Days, The Book of Guys, Love Me, and Homegrown Democrat, and has been a writer for the New Yorker, a writer and host of The Writer's Almanac, and an emcee of the National Book Awards.

    Third Place Books Has Broadsides Appeal

    ABFFE Online Auction Adds Items From BEA

    The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) has announced that a wealth of items donated by publishers during BookExpo America is being added to the online auction that is currently underway at www.abffe.org. "We are adding the new items to the website just as fast as we can," said Caitlin Delohery, ABFFE's auction manager.

    ABA Annual Meeting Presentation Available

    Reports presented to American Booksellers Association members at the ABA Annual Meeting on Friday, May 19, at BookExpo America are available to all members in a PDF document on the association's trade website, BookWeb.org.

    Weak Bookstore Sales in March

    March 2006 retail sales at bookstores slipped almost four percent compared to March 2005, according to recent estimates from the Bureau of the Census. This marked the second month in a row that sales have failed to meet or beat the previous year's results. Bookstore sales in March were $1,040 million, down from $1,082 million in March 2005.

    Overall retail sales continued to outpace bookstore sales. In March 2006, overall retail sales were $367 billion, 7.6 percent better than the $341 billion reported in March 2005.

    Rep. Sanders Commends Northshire Books in House Speech

    The Kaleidoscope in Hampton, Iowa

    Keri Holmes moved from Winterset, Iowa, and opened The Kaleidoscope in Hampton on March 1, 2006, for a number of good reasons: She thought that residents having to drive over two hours for a good selection of books was unfair; she had observed what a successful independent bookstore entailed, as well as what it meant to the citizens of Winterset; and her sister and niece, business owners in Hampton, were nagging her to join them.

    Betty & Rhett Jackson to Receive ABA Lifetime Achievement Award

    The American Booksellers Association will honor longtime South Carolina independent booksellers and community leaders Betty and Rhett Jackson with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Celebration of Bookselling at this year's BookExpo America. The award will be presented to the Jacksons by fellow South Carolinian, and longtime friend, author Pat Conroy. The Jacksons opened their bookstore, The Happy Bookseller, in 1975 in Columbia, South Carolina.

    Offering Words of Wisdom in Jasper, Indiana

    Already named one of the 25 best small towns in America, Jasper, Indiana, can now boast its own independent bookstore. Words of Wisdom, a general bookstore, owned by Michelle O'Connor, opened on November 11, 2005.

    As far back as O'Connor can remember, there hasn't been a bookstore in the southern Indiana town of 12,000. The local Wal-Mart sells books, but the nearest bookstore is an hour's drive away.

    Is There a Bookseller in the House? North Carolina's Pomegranate Books

    Retailing, specifically bookselling, is honorable and difficult work. Some might say it is not, however, on a par with saving lives or curing cancer. That's what makes Kathleen Jewell, owner of Wilmington, North Carolina's new store, Pomegranate Books such an intriguing addition to the bookselling community. She has a foot in both worlds.

    BookSense.com Announces New, Improved Search Engine

    This week, BookSense.com announced the launch of a redesigned BookSense.com search engine that is expected to significantly increase the relevancy of consumers' search results. "The new search has been improved in a number of ways and will provide more consistent results in terms of speed and stability," said BookSense.com Director Len Vlahos.

    More Than Just Beach Books

    If new bookseller Karen Emmerling could go back in time and listen to three words of advice before launching her general bookstore, Beach Books, in the small coastal town of Seaside, Oregon, she would want someone to tell her, "Do more research." After being open for two months, she confessed, "There's an awful lot more to think about than I probably considered, not having had a background in retail or books." But despite the warp-speed learning process, "everything has really fallen into place," she said.

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