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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Book Sale: 20% off, Now until October 31

I am pleased to announce that the latest issue of The Standard, the official newsletter of the IOBA (Independent Online Booksellers Association), has been published and is available here:
This marks the first all-new issue in almost three years and there are some great articles: on dealer discounts, on famed booksellers Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine B. Stern, literary travels, yours truly on the importance of turnover, as well as reviews, book fair reports and member profiles.
The newsletter is available for all booksellers and bibliophiles. But if you like what you see, do hope you'll consider joining:
Thanks for your attention.
-Brian Cassidy,
Editor The IOBA Standard

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

100% Destruction Guaranteed

We received a Spam email from, advertising their service.  I particularly liked this phrase:  "When your load of books arrives at our facility, it will immediately be ground into tiny fragments.."   How reassuring!  The gist of the marketing is that by destroying your books for you, the company is keeping them from being re-sold by someone else.  I also like how their process "eliminates workers handling the books, thus eliminating the enormous desire to sell the books"  -  and the desire to read them, too?

Reading Notes

Well, I've been remiss in listing my recent reads, but here they are:

Nancy Culpepper:  Stories by Bobbie Ann Mason.  These stories are all about the same rural Kentucky family, and though they could certainly be read separately, the whole collection adds up to kind of a novel.  The speech of the characters, particularly Nancy's mother, Lila,  reminds of my own Texan grandmother's turns of phrases:  "I'm hotter than a she-wolf in a pepper patch!"  "They was sour enough to make a pig squeal!"

Snow by Orhan Pamuk:  I only read the first 100 pages of this one, then I quit.  I picked it up because Pamuk is Turkish and won the Nobel Prize, and there's a recommendation by Atwood on the cover, but I found it just plain boring. 

Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro.  I finally ordered a copy of Alice Munro's last collection (published 2009), after the price on the internet came down to a dollar.  This was kind of interesting experience in buying from an evil megalister.  The book actually arrived in a padded envelope, not just a tyvek wrapper, as is the usual practice.  It was described accurately, if vaguely, as "Good with average wear to cover, pages, and binding."  The stories themselves were classic Munro - not about happiness!  She's one of my favorites, and I finished it in two days, having read at least three of the stories previously, probably in The New Yorker.

Other than that, I've been continuing to read back issues of Granta, and the latest issues of Harper's.