It’s Literally Wednesday: News from B&N

When France sneezes, Europe catches a cold. This was said by Klemons von Metternich, foreign minister for the Austrian Empire, in the mid 1800s. This idiom has been adopted to various changes of circumstances, including by me.

When Barnes and Noble sneezes, the publishing industry catches a cold. And the publishing industry is not feeling well at all.

B&N released its sales and earnings reports yesterday for its fourth quarter and for its full year ended April 27, 2013. Net losses for both the quarter and year were double that of those previous, with a downward trend. The company’s stated outlook for the next twelve months is equally bleak.

While retail sales at its bricks and mortar stores posted solid declines, it was nothing compared to the Nook digital division. Nook unit sales declined 34% for the quarter while digital content declined almost 9%. While B&N will continue to manufacture dedicated e-readers, it will stop producing tablets. They are currently looking to partner with another company to supply them with Nook branded tablets. B&N will continue with their current plans for closing 15-20 per year while opening around five. In the Atlanta market, their store on Camp Creek Parkway (just outside the perimeter), will shutter this summer.

A business can only afford losses of this magnitude ($120M in the last three months) for so long. The question on everyone’s mind is whether Barnes and Noble is going the way of Borders and, if so, what then.

This Week

Kent Wascom, author of Blood of Heaven, Wednesday, June 26th at 7pm, Highland Inn Ballroom, sponsored by A Cappella Books, free.

Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Sisterland, Monday, July 1st at 7:15pm, Decatur Library, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

It’s Literally Wednesday: Get Ready for the AJC Decatur Book Festival!

The eighth annual AJC Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical starts in only 72 days away. Following yesterday’s press launch, we have lots of information on this year’s event. Here are some highlights:

The keynote address will be delivered by Congressman John Lewis, author of March, the first in a graphic novel trilogy, on August 30th — 50 years (and two days) after delivering his famous speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Mr. Lewis is a man who has long known that words matter.

The revolution is at hand, and we must free ourselves of the chains of political and economic slavery. The nonviolent revolution is saying, “We will not wait for the courts to act, for we have been waiting hundreds of years. We will not wait for the President, nor the Justice Department, nor Congress, but we will take matters into our own hands, and create a great source of power, outside of any national structure that could and would assure us victory.” For those who have said, “Be patient and wait!” we must say, “Patience is a dirty and nasty word.” We cannot be patient, we do not want to be free gradually, we want our freedom, and we want it now. We cannot depend on any political party, for the Democrats and the Republicans have betrayed the basic principles of the Declaration of Independence.

Caldecott Honor winning author/illustrator Tomie dePaola will present this year’s kidnote address. His new book, Strega Nona Does It Again, features his beloved heroine.

Other amazing authors coming this year include Richard Blanco, Marcia Clark, Lev and Austin Grossman, Lily Koppel, David Levithan, Robert Morgan, Jason Mott, Naomi Wolfe, and Zane. Want more? Look here. Want even more? Here’s the entire list to date.

Saturday’s parade will be led by Jerry Pinkney, Caldecott medalist and author/illustrator whose new book is The Tortoise and the Hare. Tom Angleberger, author of The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppet, will kick off Sunday’s parade.

art | DBF is perhaps the most exciting edition to this year’s festival. A multitude of arts organizations will be bringing their creativity to downtown Decatur. This could be truly amazing.

This year’s poster was created by author/illustrator Dan Santat…

dbf poster

The AJC Decatur Book Festival’s website has all the news!

This Week

George Packer, author of The Unwinding: The Inner History of the New America, Wednesday, June 19th at 7pm, Carter Library, $10 or free with the purchase of the book.

Temple Grandin, author of The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum, Wednesday, June 19th at 7pm, First Baptist Church Decatur, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Neil Gaiman, author of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Saturday, June 22nd at 7pm, sponsored by Eagle Eye Book Shop, tickets long sold out but I believe you can still order a signed copy.

Ren and Helen Davis, authors of Atlanta Walks: A Comprehensive Guide to Walking, Running, and Bicycling the Area’s Scenic and Historic Locales, Monday, June 24th at 6:30pm, Decatur Library, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free and includes a walking tour of Decatur starting at 7:30.

Mary Kay Andrews, author of Ladies’ Night, and Claire Cook, author of Time Flies, Monday, June 24th at 6:30pm, Book Exchange, $7 and you must RSVP.

Dorthea Benton Frank, author of The Last Original Wife, Monday, June 24th at 7pm, Margaret Mitchell House, $10.

Kent Wascom, author of Blood of Heaven, Wednesday, June 26th at 7pm, Highland Inn Ballroom, sponsored by A Cappella Books, free.

It’s Literally Wednesday, 1984

The Wall Street Journal, using Amazon data, notes that sales of at least one edition of the George Orwell classic increased 7,000% during the week. I’d write more about this, but … There was an excellent article in the New York Times a few weeks ago about efforts by some residents of Katha, Myanmar to preserve and restore Orwell’s residence when he was posted there as a member of the Imperial Police and from which he wrote his great Burmese Days. Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four were both published within five years of his death in 1950 at the young age of 46.

This Week:

Lauren Weisberger, author of Revenge Wears Prada, Wednesday, June 12th at 7:30pm, MJCCA, $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers.

Khaled Hosseini, author of And the Mountains Echoed, Thursday, June 13th at 7pm, First Baptist Church Decatur, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Sergio Ruzzier, author of Bear and Bee, Thursday, June 13th at 7pm, a special storytime at Little Shop of Stories, free.

Graphic novelists Jackie Lewis, Patrick Dean, and Justin Colussy-Estes, Friday, June 14th at 7pm, Little Shop of Stories, free.

George Packer, author of The Unwinding: The Inner History of the New America, Wednesday, June 19th at 7pm, Carter Library, $10 or free with the purchase of the book.

Temple Grandin, author of The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum, Wednesday, June 19th at 7pm, First Baptist Church Decatur, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

It’s Literally Wednesday and Literally an Awesome Week

YA superstar Sara Shepard, National Book Award winner Colum McCann, and best selling superstars Jeannette Walls, Lauren Weisberger, and Khaled Hosseini are each here in the same week (and a day)! And those are just the highlights!

This Awesome Week:

Junie B. Jones Bus Tour, Wednesday, June 5th at 4pm, Decatur Library, sponsored by Little Shop of Stories and Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Summer Crush Tour with Sara Shepard (author of Pretty Little Liars: Crushed), Katie Sise (author of The Boyfriend App), and Sarah Strohmeyer (author of How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True and Smart Girls Get What They Want), Wednesday, June 5th at 7pm, Little Shop of Stories, free.

Charlie Lovett, author of The Bookman’s Tale, Wednesday, June 5th at 7:15pm, Decatur Library, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Colum McCann, author of Transatlantic, Monday, June 10th at 7pm, Carter Center, $10 or free with the purchase of the book.

Anton DiSclafani, author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, Toco Hills Avis G. Williams Library, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Daniel James Brown, author of The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Tuesday, June 11th at 7:15pm, Decatur Library, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Jeannette Walls, author of The Silver Star, Tuesday, June 11th at 6:30pm, Ivy Hall, Scad, $10 at the door for the general public and free with a valid SCAD ID, or with the purchase of a book. Books can be bought at the event or in advance at A Cappella Books.

Rick Atkinson, author of The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945, Tuesday, June 11th at 7:15pm, Decatur Library, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Lauren Weisberger, author of Revenge Wears Prada, Wednesday, June 12th at 7:30pm, MJCCA, $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers.

Khaled Hosseini, author of And the Mountains Echoed, Thursday, June 13th at 7pm, First Baptist Church Decatur, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

It’s Literally Wednesday: Susan Rebecca White’s Book Release Celebration

One often takes for granted what one has. I have read so many very, very good books written by Atlanta area authors that I tend to forget how good we have it. Then I’ll read a particularly excellent one and the realization of the quantity of our superb local talent hits home.

This happened recently with a reading of Susan Rebecca White‘s A Place at the Table. (White, an Atlanta native, is on the faculty of Emory’s Creative Writing Program.) The ‘local’ part is inescapable: a substantial part of the novel takes place right here in Decatur during the 1970s and there is a key relationship within the book inspired by that of Scott Peacock (formerly of Watershed) and Edna Lewis. The ‘quality’ part is equally apparent. White’s three main characters are thoughtfully complex and, as their lives intertwine, more layers are added.

A book release celebration for A Place at the Table is being held at the Decatur Library this Sunday at 7:30pm.

Also of note Sara Shepard, author of all those Pretty Little Liars books, is coming to Decatur this week. Whoohoooo!

This Week:

Annalee Newitz, author of Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction, Wednesday, May 29th at 7:15pm, Decatur Library, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

John Scalzi, author of The Human Division, Thursday, May 30th at 7pm, Eagle Eye Book Shop, free.

Susan Rebecca White, author of A Place at the Table, Sunday, June 2nd at 7:30pm, Decatur Library, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Mary Hood, author of Stories Waiting to be Heard: Selected Fiction from the Six Decades of the Georgia Review, Monday, June 3rd at 7:15pm, Decatur Library, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book and the Georgia Review, free.

Junie B. Jones Bus Tour, Wednesday, June 5th at 4pm, Decatur Library, sponsored by Little Shop of Stories and Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Summer Crush Tour with Sara Shepard (author of Pretty Little Liars: Crushed), Katie Sise (author of The Boyfriend App), and Sarah Strohmeyer (author of How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True and Smart Girls Get What They Want), Wednesday, June 5th at 7pm, Little Shop of Stories, free.

Charlie Lovett, author of The Bookman’s Tale, Wednesday, June 5th at 7:15pm, Decatur Library, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

It’s Literally Wednesday: Art Walk Fundraiser

  

As part of the Decatur Arts Festival’s Art Walk this Friday, Little Shop of Stories is hosting a silent art auction to benefit On The Same Page, our city’s community-wide reading initiative. Work by six great illustrators of children’s books will be up for bid from 5 to 9pm: Peter Brown, James Dean, Tony DiTerlizzi, Jarrett Krosoczka, Mike Lowery, and Judy Schachner. The art is currently on display at Little Shop and photos and details have also been posted on their blog.

Here’s a chance to own a great work of art and support a great cause.

A special congratulations to James Dean and author Eric Litwin are in order. At least one of their Pete the Cat books has been on the New York Times Best Sellers list each week since May 13, 2012. That’s 54 consecutive weeks and counting!!! The hat trick occurred last August when they had #1, #2, and #3.

This Week:

Susan Puckett, author of Eat Drink Delta, : A Hungry Traveler’s Journey Through the Soul of the South, Wednesday, May 22nd at 7:15pm, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Bill Cheng, author of Southern Cross the Dog, Thursday, May 23rd at 7:15pm, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

Annalee Newitz, author of Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction, Wednesday, May 29th at 7:15pm, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.

It’s Literally Wednesday: A Light Interlude

When Little Shop of Stories opened its current location five years ago they installed new light fixtures, mostly using standard spotlight bulbs. The best available alternative at the time was compact florescent lights (CFLs). As CFLs do not emit a full spectrum of light, they are not great in terms of reading .

In the meantime Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) have become more affordable. The quality of light is excellent. Compared to CFLs, LEDs last six times longer and use one-half the electricity for the same amount of lumens. (Compared to incandescents, LEDs last 40 times longer and use 1/10th the electricity.) Unlike CFLs, LEDs contain no mercury.

The downside is the cost. While considerably cheaper than even a year ago, the price of an LED bulb is about five times that of an incandescent.

Little Shop, with the help of Intown Ace Hardware (the Coolest Ace on the Planet), is switching over to LEDs this month. Given the lower electricity use, lower replacement cost, and lower air conditioning use (these LEDs do not emit a lot of heat), they hope to make the investment back within a year. They’ll keep you updated. If their experiment works, you may want to consider these for your home.

This Week

Jim Wallis, author of On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned about Serving the Common Good, Wednesday, May 15th at 7pm, Carter Presidential Library and Museum Theater, free.
Class Acts Tour and the Summer Reading Kickoff Party with Jarrett Krosoczka (author of Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked), Christopher Healy (The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle), and Soman Chainani (The School for Good and Evil), Thursday, May 16th at 7pm, Little Shop of Stories, free.
Saru Jayaraman, author of Behind the Kitchen Door, Thursday, May 16th at 7pm, Carter Presidential Library and Museum Theater, free.
Wendy Williams, author of Ask Wendy, Friday, May 17th at 7pm, Barnes & Noble Buckhead, free.
Larry Colton, author of Southern League: A True Story of Baseball, Civil Rights, and the Deep South’s Most Compelling Pennant Race, Monday, May 20th at 7pm, Carter Presidential Library and Museum Theater, free.
Gianna Angelopoulos, author of My Greek Drama: Life, Love and One Woman’s Olympic Effort to Bring Glory to Her Country, Tuesday, May 21st at 7pm, Carter Presidential Library and Museum Theater, free.