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R.J. Julia Featured on ABC

To celebrate Tuesday’s release of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Gray in paperback, R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut, held a party in the store, complete with afternoon martinis. WTNH, a Connecticut affiliate of ABC, covered the celebration with a video clip of customer reactions. The store sold about 50 copies in 20 minutes, WTNH reported.

Bookmans Named a Retail Finalist

The National Retail Federation has announced the 20 finalists in its “This is Retail” video contest, and among them is Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, which has several Arizona locations.

The contest was created to remind consumers that retail lies at the heart of every community. The finalists are in pairs of “match-ups” and voting is now open to the public to choose their favorite videos. Contest finalists range from small businesses to national retail chains, and from wine shops to sporting goods retailers. Visit the NRF website to vote for Bookmans.

Queen Anne Books Finds a Buyer

Yesterday, Queen Anne Books in Seattle, Washington, tweeted that the store has been sold to Katharine Hershey, a regular customer of the store.

The news that owner Patti McCall was selling was announced last month, when she emailed her customers, saying she was looking for a buyer “who will bring fresh energy and ideas to a business undergoing a radical and exciting transformation.”

Cash Mob Raids Longfellow Books

On Thursday night, Local Thunder, an organization in Portland, Maine, organized a cash mob of 50 people to raid Longfellow Books with $20 in hand. Co-owner Stuart Gersen told the Bangor Daily News that he hadn’t seen this many people in the store at once since Christmas.

“I only recognize a few of these people,” Gersen said. “So this could be a lot of new customers, which is probably as important as the $20 they’re carrying. … You know how much effort businesses go through to get people through the door? I don’t know how much this is worth in advertising.”

La Casa Azul to Open its Doors

After six years of campaigning, Aurora Anaya-Cerda will be opening La Casa Azul, a bricks-and-mortar bookstore specializing in Latino culture.

“I feel like this bookstore is a perfect fit for this neighborhood, because it will have those traditional (Latino) components and those elements in terms of design,” Anaya-Cerda told the NY Daily News. She has plans to make the store into a “community place” that combines her passions and culture.

Anaya-Cerda started a traveling bookstore six years ago, and launched a website in 2008. With the funds she raised through an IndieGoGo campaign last fall, and the contributions of an anonymous “angel investor,” Anaya-Cerda will be able to open her store in the Spring.