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24 May

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.

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26 Apr

Rep. Sanders Commends Northshire Books in House Speech

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05 Apr

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.

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30 Mar

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.

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07 Feb

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.

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01 Feb

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.

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26 Jan

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.

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24 Jan

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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18 Jan

Overcoming the Devil in the Details to Open in Salem, Massachusetts

Cornerstone Books, a 3,000-square-foot bookstore/cafe in historic Salem, Massachusetts, celebrated its grand opening Wednesday with a visit from the town's mayor to cut the ribbon, an evening of live entertainment from the Squatcho Bondo Band of Gloucester, and food and drink for all.

The store, owned by Gilbert Pili, managed by his brother Erik, with old friend Dan Johnson doing the buying, has long been a gleam in Pili's eye. But for many months, Cornerstone's opening was bedeviled by impediments of all sorts.

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11 Jan

Development Grant Leads to Opening of Grand Rapids Bookstore

As part of a strong movement to revitalize downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, an independent bookstore and cafe opened on December 10 in the former Steketee's department store. River Bank Books & Music, owned by Debra Lambers of the Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague, Michigan, occupies about 10,000 of the 100,000 square feet of space in the eight-story landmark building, completed in 1917.

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30 Nov

New ABA-Member Bookstore Openings

Here's a look at new ABA-member bookstores opening in November, plus several stores that opened over the spring and summer, which were not previously reported in Bookselling This Week. Also listed are several member stores that have recently changed ownership.

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22 Nov

New Booksellers Shed Light on 'Opening' Experience

Former librarians Kimberly Diehm and Jennifer Graves are preparing to open The NeverEnding Story Children's Bookshoppe in Las Vegas, Nevada, in February 2006. Here, they share their experiences in gathering information to help them make the decision to become booksellers, about writing a business plan, and in finding financing.

By Kimberly Diehm and Jennifer Graves

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About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.

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