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Books & Books Rolls Out Red Carpet for Movie Premiere

Books & Books celebrated the Miami premiere of The Man Who Invented Christmas on Monday evening, November 20, at the Coral Gables Art Cinema, across from the independent bookstore’s Coral Gables location.

At the Miami movie premiere, from left to right: Les Standiford, Kimberly Standiford, Bharat Nalluri, Mitchell Kaplan, Dave Barry, and Michelle Kaufman. Photo by Johnny Louis.
At the Miami movie premiere, from left to right: Les Standiford, Kimberly Standiford, Bharat Nalluri, Mitchell Kaplan, Dave Barry, and Michelle Kaufman. Photo by Johnny Louis.

“It was a magical evening where books and film came together,” Books & Books founder Mitchell Kaplan told Bookselling This Week on the day after the red-carpet event. “We hope to have given it a really great launch for the opening. It’s opening in 500 theaters all across the country tomorrow.”

Kaplan is a producer of the movie, which is based on the nonfiction book of the same title by his friend and fellow Miamian Les Standiford. The book and film tell the story of how Charles Dickens came to write the classic holiday tale A Christmas Carol.

The Man Who Invented Christmas, a November 2008 Indie Next List pick, has been re-released in a movie tie-in edition from Broadway Books.

Starring Dan Stevens as Dickens and Christopher Plummer as Scrooge, the film blends reality and fantasy in a movie that The Detroit Free Press called “warm and charming” in a glowing review published November 21.

Cristina Nosti, Books & Books’ director of events & marketing, said the packed theater’s audience included movie industry and publishing notables. Standiford was present as well as director Bharat Nalluri and co-producers Paula Mazur, Robert Mickelson and Ian Sharples. “When the final credits rolled, there was thunderous applause and a standing ovation,” Nosti said.

Whitelam Books Hosts Grand Opening

Whitelam Books in Reading, Massachusetts, held a grand opening party on Saturday, November 18, that included balloons, cake, and a ribbon cutting. Owner Liz Hopper Whitelam, who opened the general interest bookstore after a career in marketing, said she was gratified by the community members who came to celebrate with her.

Liz Hopper Whitelam cuts the ribbon to officially open Whitelam Books.
Liz Hopper Whitelam cuts the ribbon to officially open Whitelam Books.

“We had a great day. We had a steady crowd all day, with a nice surge of people coming at noontime for the actual ribbon cutting,” Whitelam said. “The whole community continues to be very enthusiastic about the store; every day several people come in and say, ‘I’m so excited there’s finally a bookstore in Reading!’”

Whitelam said she sees a bright future for the bookstore, which held a soft opening earlier this month. “Let’s hope that someone as inexperienced as I am can make it through the imminent holiday season able to provide everything my customers are looking for,” she said. “I'm extremely lucky in that all of my staff are fantastic, which has been an incredible support.”

Customers who came to the party received free tote bags decorated with the store’s logo with a $50 purchase. They also were encouraged to suggest names for the white lamb in the store’s logo.

Greedy Reads Coming to Baltimore

Greedy Reads, a new independent bookstore, will open in the Fell’s Point neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland, in the spring of 2018. The owner is Julia Fleischaker, who was director of marketing and publicity at Melville House Publishing from 2013 until July of this year. Before that, she was a publicity director at Penguin Group USA for 13 years.

Fleischaker told Bookselling This Week that she plans to have all the new books generating attention plus a selection of titles that will surprise her customers who want to discover new authors. “My background in independent publishing gives me a perspective on the wealth of books that are out there,” she said.

She hopes to get keys to the 500-square-foot space in December and plans to open by March. “It’s a beautiful space with two big windows on two sides and stained glass on top,” she said. “I want to play off the spacious, organic feeling.”

Fleischaker has created Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for the store, where she will post updates on her progress toward the opening.

Hugo BookStores Opening Holiday Pop-Up

Rockport Books, a new holiday pop-up shop opening for the season on Main Street in Rockport, Massachusetts, is the latest endeavor from HugoBooks. The independent bookstore business also owns Café Magna and the Book Rack in Newburyport, Cabot Street Books in Beverly, Spirit of ’76 in Marblehead, and Campus Collection and Andover Bookstore, both in Andover.

The pop-up is stocking bestsellers, holiday catalog titles, children’s books, gifts, and greeting cards. “Our intent is to do a holiday pop-up and test the local book market. If the bookstore can do comparable sales to our other locations for the holidays we would love to become a permanent, year-round store,” the store said in announcing the pop-up, which opened November 18.

Moonraker Books Marks 45 Years in Business

Moonraker Books in Langley, Washington, is celebrating its 45th year in business as an independent bookstore. “People keep coming into the store and spending time just wandering and looking at what’s there,” owner Josh Hauser told

She opened the store with her husband, Glenn, in 1972, shortly after the couple moved from California. Glenn had retired from the Marine Corps, and both decided to start a bookstore. Josh Hauser, who runs the store on her own since her husband’s passing, told that she enjoys seeing longtime customers grow up and come back to the store. “I love books, and I love people,” she said.

Island Books Voted Best Bookstore In Western Washington

Island Books in Mercer Island, Washington, was selected as Best Bookstore of 2017 by voters in King 5/Evening Magazine’s Best of Western Washington contest. In a note to customers in the store’s newsletter, owner Laurie Raisys promised a celebration for customers who voted for the store: “Thank you for making this a banner year for Island Books. We are humbled and honored, and we couldn’t have done it without you!”