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Blue Frog Books Opens in Michigan

Blue Frog Books recently opened its doors to the town of Howell, Michigan. Owners Penny Coleman and Robert Vedro were discouraged by the lack of bookstores in the area and were determined to fill the void.

“It’s a risk; it absolutely is,” Coleman told Livingston Daily. “But it’s a risk I’m more than willing to take to try to get that bookstore back in the community so people can have a place to go and find a book…There’s so much more to the book-buying process than just clicking ‘buy.’”

To prepare for the store’s opening, Coleman attended a Paz & Associates workshop in 2012. “There were a surprising number of people there from all around the country,” she said. “Like-minded people who realize the value of a book and what a bookstore can do for a community.”

Naperville READS and HarperCollins Join Forces for Common Cause

This month, 12 middle grade authors involved in HarperCollins’ Class Acts literacy program visited the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois, to participate in the citywide reading initiative Naperville READS, which is sponsored in part by Anderson’s Bookshop.

More than 10,000 young readers were able to attend the event’s launch, which included author presentations, silly competitions, and other activities. Two evening events celebrating six of the participating authors were open to the public and held at a local college.

Participating authors were Peter Lerangis, Tim Green, Soman Chainani, Tom Watson, Christopher Krovatin, Caroline Carlson, Kevin Emerson, Nils Johnson-Shelton, Jeramey Kraatz, Jenny Lee, Chris Rylander, and John Kloepfer.

Common Good Books Announces Poetry Contest

Garrison Keillor, the proprietor of Common Good Books in St. Paul, Minnesota, is sponsoring “Love Letters” — The Second Annual Common Good Books Poetry Contest. The grand prize is $1,000, and four runners-up will be awarded $250. Entries must be received by April 15, and finalists will be announced on April 20. The winners will be announced at a celebration of poetry in St. Paul, Minnesota, on April 27.

This year’s judges are Garrison Keillor, Tom Hennen (author of Darkness Sticks to Everything: New and Collected Poems), and Patricia Hampl (author of Woman before an Aquarium and Resort and Other Poems).

The contest’s official rules, as well as advice for writing poetry, can be viewed on the bookstore’s website.

Russo’s Books, Reinvented

Though Russo’s Books closed its storefront location in Bakersfield, California, at the end of last year, an e-mail was recently sent to its customers, informing them that “Russo’s Books lives on.”

“We still have a passion for Bakersfield and for books, but we also have to be smart about the evolving bookselling environment,” the e-mail continued. “Over the next few weeks we will be updating you on the ‘new’ Russo’s Books.” To that end, the business has relocated to an office building and repositioned itself as an internet/phone order bookseller. The store’s website and phone number remain the same.

Customers are encouraged to stay tuned to e-mails detailing the soon-to-be launched new website, and the business’s future plans.