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ICSC Poll Finds Support for E-Fairness at All-Time High

On September 10, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) released the results of a national poll showing that seven in 10 of those polled favor legislation requiring sales tax collection at the time of purchase. This is an increase of six percentage points since 2013 and 11 points since 2012.

“A significant majority of Americans support federal legislation, and with precious few legislative days left in 2014 it is time for Congress to make Marketplace Fairness a reality this year,” Michael P. Kercheval, president and CEO of ICSC, said in a statement. “Americans from all walks of life and across the political spectrum overwhelmingly agree that the long-term economic health of their communities depends on a level playing field for all businesses.”

The poll found that a whopping 93 percent of respondents believe that local retailers are important to their community’s economic health. Additionally, 82 percent of respondents said that collecting sales tax from online-only retailers at point of sale is easier, an increase of four percentage points since 2013 and seven percentage points since 2012. Moreover, 70 percent of respondents support federal e-fairness legislation.

Chase and Google to Award Small Business Grants

As part of the Mission Main Street Grants program, Chase, with the sponsorship of Google, will be awarding 20 grants worth $150,000 each to small businesses. To enter, businesses need to fill out the application by October 3 and collect 250 votes during the voting period, through October 17.

In addition to a $150,000 grant, winners will receive a trip to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California; a Google Chromebook laptop; and a $2,000 coupon toward one market research study with Google Consumer Surveys. All who apply will receive a $150 coupon toward a market research study conducted by Google Consumer Surveys as well as a toolkit to help grow their businesses.

Study Analyzes Reading Habits of Millennials

A recent study by the Pew Research Center looked at the reading habits of and library use by Americans aged 16 to 29. Among other findings, the report detailed the following statistics:

  • 43 percent of respondents reported having read a book of any format on a daily basis over the past 12 months;
  • 88 percent of those under 30 reported having read a book in the past year, compared to 79 percent of those over 30;
  • 37 percent of those aged 18 to 29 reported having read an e-book in the past year;
  • 77 percent have a smartphone, 38 percent have a tablet, and 24 percent have an e-reader.

See the full report here.

Man Booker Prize Shortlist Revealed

The shortlist for the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction was announced on Tuesday, September 9. This is the first year that the prize has been extended to authors writing originally in English, regardless of nationality. The winner will be revealed on October 14, 2014.

The authors on the shortlist are:

  • Joshua Ferris (U.S.), To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Viking)
  • Richard Flanagan (Australian), The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Chatto & Windus)
  • Karen Joy Fowler (U.S.), We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Serpent’s Tail)
  • Howard Jacobson (British), J (Jonathan Cape)
  • Neel Mukherjee (British), The Lives of Others (Chatto & Windus)
  • Ali Smith (British), How to be Both (Hamish Hamilton)

Neil Gaiman to Present Lifetime Achievement Award to Ursula Le Guin

The National Book Foundation’s 2014 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters will be presented to Ursula K. Le Guin at the 65th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner in New York City this November. Author Neil Gaiman will present the award, which recognizes Le Guin for her contributions to American literature, particularly in the science fiction and fantasy genres.

“Ursula Le Guin has had an extraordinary impact on several generations of readers and, particularly, writers in the U.S. and around the world,” said Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the National Book Foundation. “She has shown how great writing will obliterate the antiquated — and never really valid — line between popular and literary art. Her influence will be felt for decades to come.”

Ellen Chodosh Named Director of NYU Press

Ellen Chodosh has been named director of NYU Press. She will join NYU on September 15, taking over for Steve Maikowski, who retired in May.

Chodosh was formerly the vice president and publisher of the trade division at Oxford University Press and also formed her own consulting business in 2006, specializing in strategic and sustainable planning for universities, scholarly nonprofits, and publishers.