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Spartanburg Writers Project to Open Indie Bookstore

The Hub City Writers Project has begun a fundraising campaign to bring an independent bookstore to an historic Masonic Temple building in downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina, according to Hub City News. Betsy Teter, executive director of the Hub City Writers Project, said that new bookstore would be "on the leading edge of a new business model emerging in the bookselling industry -- nonprofit bookstores financially supported by communities of book-lovers and civically engaged residents."

The group, which has already received several substantial gifts, is seeking contributions from the community to renovate a 3,000-square-foot space in the 82-year-old building. Renovations and bookstore fixtures for the store, which will stock bestsellers, regional books, university press books, children's books, and used books, are expected to cost $100,000.

The bookstore is slated to open in the spring, and proceeds from book sales will fund local literary programming, Hub City Press publishing operations, college scholarships for local creative writers, and other charitable activities.

IndieBound iPhone App Receives Kudos From Boston Globe

Last Sunday, the IndieBound iPhone app was featured in a Boston Globe article on how to follow the world of ideas on the go. Writer Joanne McNeil said of the app: "Next time you are on vacation and craving a quirky beach read, check out this great app from the independent bookseller alliance IndieBound. It uses GPS to find the nonchain bookstores nearest to you, complete with a contact number, hours of operation, and link to its website. You can use IndieBound to order books to pick up at the indie bookshop of your choice and keep a 'wish list' of books you'd like to read next. It is also excellent for browsing, when no brick-and-mortar shop is nearby. Check out the bestseller lists and reading group recommendations in categories ranging from 'Comics and Graphic Novels' to 'Memorable Women.' Now, isn't that better than I Am T-Pain?"

Seattle's University Book Store Celebrates 110 With 110

Seattle Times book editor Mary Ann Gwinn reported on this past weekend's 110th anniversary celebration of the University Book Store. Gwinn called the Seattle indie "the sine qua non of university bookstores" and cited its many author readings, well-read staff, wonderful children's department, free parking with purchase, and "some of the most interesting sale tables on the planet."

To commemorate this milestone, University Book Store has published 110/110, a collection of original works of 110 words or less by 110 of the store's favorite Northwest authors and artists. Contributors include Tony Angell, Chris Crutcher, Ivan Doig, Terry Brooks, and Shawn Wong.

While supplies last, University Book Store is giving away a copy of the 110/110 to anyone who purchases a title by a contributor to the collection, either in the store or online. Excerpts from the book can be found on . the store's e-commerce site

PNBA Announces Award Winners

The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association recently announced its 2010 Book Award winners, as selected by a committee of independent booksellers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska, from more than 200 nominated titles.

Winning titles, written by a Northwest author and published in 2009, are:

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt & the Fire That Saved America by Timothy Egan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest by Jack Nisbet (Sasquatch Books) Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (Tor Books) The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha (Broadway Books) All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant; illustrated by Nikki McClure (Abrams Books for Young Readers)

NRF Finds Holiday Season Ends on High Note

The National Retail Federation reported today that December retail sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) rose 2.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year and fell 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted from November.

"As a result," said NRF, "preliminary 2009 holiday sales, which combine the full months of November and December, rose 1.1 percent to $446.8 billion," surpassing its projected decline of 1.0 percent.

"Apparel was a big driver for retailers as clothing and clothing accessories stores for December increased 7.0 percent year-over-year and dipped 0.6 percent from November," according to NRF. "Sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores also performed well with December sales increasing 3.9 percent from last year and up 1.6 percent month-to-month."