NY’s Strand Bookstore Owner Passes Away January 2018, Daughter Continues Legacy

For Strand Bookstore fans via the NY Times and Shelf-Awareness…  a history of a bookstore, a book lover, and, news that the legacy continues thru three generations, thank goodness.

“Longtime owner of The Strand bookstore Fred Bass, 89, died on Wednesday(January 3) at home in Manhattan of congestive heart failure. He started working at the store, founded by his father, when he was 13, and just retired last November. During that time, he oversaw the store’s significant growth from its original home on Fourth Street with 70,000 volumes to “the largest used-book store in the world” on Broadway — where he bought the store’s building for $8.2 million in 1997 — with millions of volumes and a storage warehouse in Brooklyn.

“The NYT quotes a remark Bass made to New York Magazine in 1977: “It’s a disease. I get an attack, something like a panic, of book-buying. I simply must keep fresh used books flowing over my shelves. And every day the clerks weed out the unsalable stuff from the shelves and bins and we throw it out. Tons of dead books go out nightly. And bought ’em. But I just have to make room for fresh stock to keep the shelves lively.” His daughter Nancy Bass Wyden now owns the store.

The Strand Book Store in 1938. Photo by The Strand Book Store

Advertisements

Book Covers – Creative Spanish-language Art Covers at Guadalajara Book Fair December 2017

Are you attracted to beautiful, eye-catching, original book covers? I know I am.

Every year at the Guadalajara Book Fair I make a point of stopping by the Libros del Zorro Rojo (Red Zorro Books) stand, a publishing house with offices in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City.  I invariably spend much longer than I had planned to, lured by the brilliance before me.

Here below is some eye candy witnessed at their colorful location in December 2017…

DSCN2142

2017-2018 unique book covers from Libros del Zorro Rojo

On the right, an Italian title translated into Spanish

On the right, an Italian title translated into Spanish – terrific colors, fonts, spacing, shading, visual effect

"dark" titles with unique art work, on the left a Spanish translation from a Franz Kafka German title

“Dark” titles with compelling art work; on the left a Kafka novel translated from the German

Emily Dickinson poetry in the mddle, Lewis Carroll's Alice in the Wonderland on the right

Emily Dickinson poetry in the middle; Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland on the right

The fine artwork for the Emily Dickinson book above is by international award-winning French-Canadian illustrator Isabelle Arsenault.  See http://www.isabellearsenault.com

Simplicity of design with La Vaca Independiente's Frida Kahlo art diary

Simplicity of design with La Vaca Independiente’s Frida Kahlo art diary

La Vaca Independiente is an educational foundation in Mexico City which promotes art as education.  See http://lavaca.edu.mx/Acerca.html

Book interior, reproduction of Frida Kahlo's art diary

Book interior, reproduction of Frida Kahlo’s art diary

Grupo Planeta, with offices in Mexico City, Spain, and satellite Latin American nations, offers a list of Mexican historical titles and recent book covers at the link below…

http://planetadelibrosmexico.com/10-libros-para-comprender-la-historia-de-mexico/

If you are interested in Spanish language book covers (English books translated into Spanish) from the 1930’s, see http://spanishbookcovers.blogspot.com/

Amazon Opens Brick & Mortar Bookstore in Los Angeles; Bodhi Tree LA On-Line Instead

Amazon.com opened its first brick & mortar store at Century City’s Westfield Mall in Los Angeles on October 3, 2017. The over 5,000 square foot wood-floored space is at 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. Tel. (310)734-5949  Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

I managed to visit the store October 7 to scout for psychology and social science books as comps for a book I am shepherding that will be published in late spring 2018.

Amazon bookstore Century City, Los Angeles

Amazon bookstore Century City, Los Angeles

It was quiet for a Saturday. Young guides asked if it was my first visit and then prompted me to use an Amazon.com app to identify book prices as no costs are marked.

New books were promoted  beside long-time best sellers in spaces organized by genre – fiction, psychology, etc.

Once you’ve chosen your merchandise – books, cards, coloring books, knickknacks, you proceed to the cashier.

Check-out line Amazon Books, Century City

Check-out line Amazon Books, Century City

I have only been to the Century City store once. I find I’m still ordering from Amazon on-line even if I have to pay for postage.

Note: Amazon recently hired Steve Kessel as VP in charge of all brick and mortar operations including Amazon Books, Whole Foods, etc. with the goal of re-inventing how customers shop in stores.  Let’s see how this will evolve in a space currently without much eye candy.  Or do we absolutely have to have eye candy and more choices?!!

I still miss my all-time favorite LA bookstore, the Bodhi Tree, formerly housed on Melrose Avenue. It closed five years ago.

The Bodhi Tree first opened in 1970 and quickly became a haven for spiritual seekers. Over the years it hosted well-known writers and thought leaders from the Body/Mind/Spirit world.

The new venture, incubating since the store closure, is completely on-line with new and antiquarian books.  The experience is not quite the same without incense burning and hot cinnamon tea to sip. But let’s see how this will evolve. Every new invention requires time.

The on-line store also offers sacred Buddhist and Hindu treasures for the home, wellness beauty products, and healing items. You can find the metaphysical mercantile at http://www.BodhiTree.com  or by writing  hello@bodhitree.com.

 

San Francisco Rare Book Dealer Talks About How He is Going Out of Business – Asian, European, and American Art Collections

Here below you will find a link to an article from the Rare Book Hub with commentary by its editor Bruce McKinney about Marc Sena Carrel, an antiquarian book dealer based in the San Francisco Bay Area who is divesting of his business – Chinese and Japanese arts and antiquities books, Asian art prints, European and American art books, and other collectibles on art, archaeology, and design.

The November 1, 2017 article includes Marc Sena Carrel’s story about how he plans to exit the bookseller business.

http://www.rarebookhub.com/articles/2319 

Artistotle Volumes I-IV

Aristotle Volumes I-IV

The carefully curated collection of scholarly books is currently on view at http://www.bookcarrel.com.

Alt-Kutscha

Alt-Kutscha by Albert Grunwedel, 1920

 

Marc Sena Carrel, rare book dealer

Marc Sena Carrel, rare book dealer

*The last name of Mr. Carrel is the same as mine. That is no mere coincidence. He is my brother and I am proud to mention his life long passion for collecting fine books and his decision to sell what he so efficiently and diligently has found for appreciative readers.

 

 

The Atlas of Beauty – New Photography Book Featuring Authentic World Beauty

Mihaela Noroc, a young Romanian photographer, traveled to 50 countries and found 500 unique women of all ages to pose as her subjects. She has compiled the photos into a book, The Atlas of Beauty.

The women are of all ages.

Mihaela shares a brief story about each one.

Engaging, dazzling photography, appealing subject matter. Remarkable faces.

Natural beauty speaks for itself and seems far more interesting than “created” glamour beauty. Well, that’s my take on it. The women also seem healthy. In the interests of all around wellness and wholesomeness, I support Mihaela’s inspirational project.

The web site for the book is http://www.theatlasofbeauty.com

Forbes magazine has published a fine piece about Mihaela’s talent with photo examples – a Syrian mother with two daughters in a refugee camp, a North Korean female museum guard, a lone woman on a train in Rajasthan, India.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/guymartin/2017/09/30/photographer-mihaela-noroc-explores-the-worlds-great-faces-in-the-atlas-of-beauty/#456eeb3d4eac

The link to the book on Amazon.com is https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=mihaela+noroc&tag=mh0b-20&index=aps&hvadid=77790480037028&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_8qaahut94q_e

Here is a You Tube book trailer for you to view:

PBS Launches Great American Read in Spring 2018

 

Here is something I, and probably you, am looking forward to…

Found the announcement today on my http://www.ShelfAwareness.com newsletter.

The Great American Read launches in spring 2018 with a multi-platform digital and social campaign leading up to the reveal of the 100 books selected by the American public and an advisory panel of literary professionals. Beginning with a two-hour kick-off event in May, the documentary special will feature appearances by celebrities and everyday Americans passionately advocating for and explaining their personal connections to their favorite books.”

Hurrah for books and any program which may promote reading. Excellent!!

http://www.pbs.org/about/blogs/news/pbs-celebrates-the-joy-of-reading-with-the-great-american-read-wt/

Posted by noodlesabout four years ago

Book Clubs Around the World, Even for Americans Abroad

How do you find a book club?  Where are book clubs? What are the possible benefits?

Goodreads.com lists 710 groups with diverse interests in countries as far flung as Malaysia and as close as Mexico.

Clubs are focused on innumerable subjects – business, feminism, films based on books, gardening, LGBT, memoir, politics, romance novels, science fiction, Japanese thrillers, YA (Young Adult fiction), those that have won awards, etc.

There used to be clubs on radio and TV you could listen to, participating only as a reader – The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America Book Club, NPR’s Book Club of the Air with Ray Suarez, and even a “Wake-Up Reading” Club in Spanish hosted by Jorge Ramos on Univision. 

Now, there are special book news reports on TV (mostly PBS), as well as podcasts that stream 24/7 on on-line radio programs.

In June of this year the American Library Association inaugurated, with actress Sarah Jessica Parker, a new book club, a national book club.  See http://www.bookclubcentral.org as well as the live video link from ABC News in the reference section below.  The Book Club Central link will show you how to register for the newsletter and club if interested. I imagine most of the recommended reading will be similar to Oprah or Costco picks, award-winning fiction with original voices.

But for those of you who love reading, AND those of you who enjoy social engagement and dialogue over listening to radio or TV reviews/interviews, there are book clubs, probably in your own community.

Library room with comfy places to sit and read in the sun. Maybe a bay window and window seat
 photo from livebreathedecor.com

(If the home above were mine, I would invite book club members to meet. I’d add comfy pillows to the wicker love seat, another club chair, a sofa. I’d distribute books, serve tea, and delight in the company and the exchange).

The easiest ways to learn about local clubs are to ask local writers, writers groups, and librarians; look on-line for book groups at http://www.MeetUp.com (search by city, state, country); search community bulletin boards and activities listed in newspapers; or, Google what you wish to find. And if there isn’t a club that matches your preferences, perhaps you can start one.

In August of 2016 an enterprising Canadian accountant, retired, decided to start a non-fiction book club at Lake Chapala, Mexico, about an hour south of Guadalajara, the country’s second largest city.  His plan was to discover and read engaging English-language books, and, attract members of the community who represented diverse nationalities, experiences, and opinions.

“In a world of growing polarization and conflict, the members of the Ajijic Book Club, in a spirit of celebrating the oneness of humanity, seek to engage in civil dialogue with each other especially when confronted by deeply held opposing views,” states the founder.

Even though some of the residents at the lake are snowbirds, living only six months a year in Mexico, others reside full-time, up to and including residents who are published authors.

To discuss various subjects the Ajijic Book Club has gathered psychotherapists (one an author), a lawyer, an American MD (also author) who worked for the World Health Organization, a businessman (also author) who started a hospice in Canada, a non-profit administrator from the states who became a yoga teacher, a Canadian English literature professor born and raised in Germany, a retired Canadian foreign service officer, an American hospice nurse, and the founder, Dutch born but raised in Nova Scotia and Calgary, among other members.

See http://www.AjijicBookClub.com for a list of books recently read and reviewed. The book scheduled for January 2018 discussion is:

  A Disappearance in Damascus by Deborah Campbell journalist, winner of the prestigious Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust award for 2016. The book video can be viewed at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSl5BqSfbmI

Benefits of book clubs?     Meeting people in your community, exchanges on subjects you are passionate about, a way to expose your book if you are an author, a way to keep your mind sharp no matter where you are living on the planet.

Ex-pat (not a term I favor) book clubs around the world, which include not only Americans but Aussies, Brits, Canadians and other nationalities, can be found in Abu Dhabi, Australia, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Paris, Singapore, The Hague, Tokyo, and a myriad of other places. The Paris meetup calls itself the Paris Anglophone Book Club. It has over 2,000 members.

References

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/sarah-jessica-parker-picks-1st-reading-selection-national/story?id=48237959

http://www.meetup.com

https://mmlafleur.com/mdash/types-of-book-clubs   (humorous)

http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/New-Book-Clubs-A-Different-Kind-of-Book-Club   new book clubs on the horizon

The Paris Anglophone Book Club

Paris, FR
2,264 Book lovers

If you love reading, live in Paris, but don’t feel up to discussing the finer points of Proust in French, welcome to an English-speaking book club.We’ll meet once a month to …

Next Meetup

August Meetup – Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Monday, Aug 7, 2017, 8:00 PM
29 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →