Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earthlight Books Featured on Local Walla Walla Blog!

Earthlight Books in Walla Walla

Posted by: Becky St. Clair in Misc StoriesBusiness on 
earthlight_booksI'm married to a librarian. From a young age, he found joy in organizing and reorganizing anything he could find, including his Matchbox cars and baseball cards. Especially his baseball cards. He had dozens of them, and now, at nearly 30, he has hundreds. He doesn't collect them for their monetary value; instead he collects them simply to be able to keep current with the cards he has, and to be able to better organize his teams.

This same personality trait caused us to spend two hours one evening pulling all of our books off their shelves (we own a lot of them; we were both English majors in college), organizing them according to genre, and then alphabetically by the author's last name. We even started putting them into an online personal library program, and stopped just short of printing out our own Library of Congress labels to put on the book spines.

That is why places like Earthlight Books, a used book shop at the east end of Main Street in Walla Walla, are dangerous places for us to visit. This shop is a popular haunt for many people I know; it practically whispers their name anytime they're near downtown, and, like a true magical entity, Earthlight Books is difficult to refuse.

I remember the first time I stopped by. It was on a whim on a chilly early winter afternoon; I think I'd just had my hair cut a block down the street and had a few minutes to spare. The first thing that hit me was the smell. Paper. Old paper, new paper, typed-on paper, printed-on paper, written-on paper...deliciously aromatic paper.

One of my favourite things to do in old book shops and libraries is to open century-old books, bury my nose in the crease of the binding, close my eyes, and breathe deep. I just love that old paper smell!

The second thing I noticed about Earthlight Books was the colour: Bright blue. Everything was blue - the walls and the bookshelves were beautiful shades of sea-blue and it calmed me. I was the only one in the shop and I walked slowly between tables and shelves of books. Novels, biographies, romances, documentaries, autobiographies, children's books...there were so many they were spilling off the shelving and were even stacked on the floor. As I stood in the middle of the silent shop and listened to myself breathe and the unique, willowy voices of each book in the room, all I could think was, "What a beautiful disaster!" - An amazing tool for booklover's who don't know what to read next

Too cool for school, bookhounds! Check this baby out:

Monday, April 16, 2012

More Tax Shenanigans, Courtesy of & Other News from the Book World

Book News Courtesy of Sheppard's Newsletter No. 255, 256 & 257

UK: Amazon paid no Corporation Tax, Britain's biggest online retailer, generated sales of more than £3.3bn in the country last year but paid no corporation tax on any of the profits from that income - and is under investigation by the UK tax authorities. Regulatory filings by parent company with the US securities and exchange commission (SEC) show the tax inquiry into the UK operation, which sells nearly one in four books sold in Britain, focuses on a period when ownership of the British business was transferred to a Luxembourg company. Read more

USA: States fight back against's tax deals

So runs the headline in the Seattle Times. Months ago, SC reported on the issue of Amazon's reluctance to collect state taxes. Amazon now supports the idea so long as the rules apply to other websites., the world's largest Internet retailer, currently collects sales taxes from customers in just five states, including Washington, giving it a price advantage of up to 10 per cent. But the days of tax-free Internet shopping appear to be coming to an end, something that Amazon itself has conceded in recent months.
  States have lost more than $52 billion during the past six years due to untaxed Internet purchases, according to a University of Tennessee study. Facing massive budget deficits that threaten further cuts to schools and social services, an ever-growing chorus of lawmakers has called for an end to the sales-tax edge long enjoyed by Internet retailers. Read more

[We would like to hear from US based dealers on this issue.  Has the present state adversely affected book sales?  Ed.] - write to Sheppard's Confidential for more details.

UK: Postal costs hike
The impending increase on postal costs has been trailed for some time with businesses receiving several letters from Royal Mail. However the size of the increase is substantial. First-class stamp prices will increase from 46p to 60p and second class from 36p to 50p from April 30. And costs of nearly all other services will also be increased. Read more 
[One of the benefits of membership of the Federation of Small Businesses is access to their Print and Mail Service which offers substantial reductions in sending out basic correspondence. Read more.  Ed.]

International: An e-book myth?
Ask a friend with a tablet (iPad or Fire) to show you her bookshelf. More and more, you'll see nothing. Emptiness. One of the very real truths of our culture is being hidden in the dramatic shift from paper to e-book - lots of people are moving from paper to 'no e-book'. For now, this is being concealed...Read more
[Sales figures for e-pubs continue to grow but how many are actually reading them? And you can't 'show off' e-pubs as you can with printed books on shelves. Ed.]

UK: Bibliophile celebrate
Everyone who creates a catalogue will know how much time and effort is required to produce one. Bibliophile has just published their 300th catalogue - and it's taken 34 years. Each 40 page catalogue contains some 300 brand new books and over 1,000 titles.
  At a time when many predict the death of the physical book and the bookshop and even the public library is under constant threat of closure, Bibliophile Books continues to prosper and go about its business as the UK booklover's greatest secret. In 2011 it was granted a Royal Warrant by the Duke of Edinburgh in recognition of quality, service, excellence and selling to the palace for some 20 years. Over the years the company has handled tens of thousands of now rare and valuable books which will never be printed again. Read more

International: Can e-book sales help the market for hardbacks?
Danuta Kean, a publishing analyst, suggests that the growth of e-book sales may, indirectly, be helping the hardback market to survive. Many have suggested that hardback sales would wither because of its comparative high cover price. Current statistics suggest otherwise.
  The market for hardbacks was predicted to be the chief victim in the bloodbath following the rapid rise of digital books, but data from Nielsen BookScan, which monitors sales in eight book markets worldwide, shows second publication paperbacks are under more threat from e-readers. Data shows a decline in print sales across all mature markets of between 1.7% and 14.8%, the percentage decline in hardback sales is lower than that of paperbacks, 8.5% compared to 11.7%. One consequence of this trend is that publishers are reassessing their strategy towards a format declared dead only a year ago which augers well for the long term future for our side of the trade. Read more

International: Facebook lays claim to the term 'Book'
Recently, we have reported several examples of pan-national companies exerting rights that adversely affect the smaller traders. This week Facebook announced in their new 'User Agreement':
  'You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Book and Wall), or any confusingly similar marks, except as expressly permitted by our Brand Usage Guidelines or with our prior written permission.'
  But the company has yet to attempt to have the term registered as a trademark. This may prove to be more difficult to achieve. Readers who have the word 'book' in their business name ought to read more.

USA: Do Amazon's practices pose a threat? 
In an editorial this week Bryce Milligan of Wings Press expresses his views about Amazon's largesse and what the company's strategy might mean to the world of publishing. Milligan's company is a member of The Independent Publishers Group whose member companies' e-books have been removed from Amazon's website. Read more

UK: Printed books still first choice
While the majority of the U.K.'s undergraduate students are now using e-books, none are yet relying on them as a primary source of information. Print continues its hold as a key resource for at least two-thirds of students. That's one of the key findings of a major new study that explores student information sources in the digital world from the book research experts at BML, a Bowker business. The study was conducted in December 2011 and shows significant change since 2003 when BML conducted similar research. Read more

New Zealand: Christchurch Library - the clear-up begins a year later
The recovery of 300,000 books stranded in Christchurch's biggest library for more than a year after a major earthquake will begin next week. The books have been lying on the floor of the red-zone building, without heating or air conditioning, since the February 2011 quake, but library bosses say there has been no wholesale damage to the collection. Christchurch City Council libraries and information manager Carolyn Robertson said staff had been working on a book-rescue plan for months. Read more and see images

France: A tax on major booksellers to help smaller businesses
France has developed something of a reputation for trying to tax larger companies on the Internet in order to use the funds to help out smaller players. The latest development in that scheme: a proposal to tax large booksellers to help French independent bookstores impacted by the rise of online giants like Amazon. Read more

Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is the center of the world. - John Burroughs

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

USGS: Small quake recorded near Walla Walla

Wallula Fault Line

USGS: Small quake recorded near Walla Walla
Posted by  on April 10, 2012 at 7:14 AM
The Associated Press
WALLA WALLA — The National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo., reports a magnitude 3.5 earthquake Monday night in southeast Washington.
There were no immediate reports of damage. By late Monday night, the center’s website had received only one report from a resident who felt the quake.
The quake was centered about 18 miles west of Walla Walla at a depth of about eight miles.
The earthquake information center is part of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. - Barbara Kingsolver

We have a nice signed copy of Pigs in Heaven, and we should have most of her other books in stock in our storefront as well.

Barbara Kingsolver (born April 8, 1955) is an American novelist, essayist and poet. She was raised in rural Kentucky and lived briefly in the former Republic of Congo in her early childhood. Kingsolver earned degrees in biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizonaand worked as a freelance writer before she began writing novels. Her widely known works include The Poisonwood Bible, the tale of a missionary family in the Congo, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a non-fiction account of her family's attempts to eat locally.
Her work often focuses on topics such as social justice, biodiversity and the interaction between humans and their communities and environments. Each of her books published since 1993 has been on the New York Times Best Seller list.[1] Kingsolver has received numerous awards, including the Dayton Literary Peace Prize's Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award 2011, UK's Orange Prize for Fiction 2010, for The Lacuna and the National Humanities Medal. She has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award and thePulitzer Prize.
In 2000, Kingsolver established the Bellwether Prize to support "literature of social change."

Friday, April 6, 2012

It is very risky. But each time a child opens a book, he pushes open the gate that separates him from Elsewhere. - Lois Lowry

From Wikipedia:

Lois Lowry (born Lois Ann Hammersberg[1] on March 20, 1937) is an American author of children's literature. She began her career as aphotographer and a freelance journalist during the early 1970s. Her work as a journalist drew the attention of Houghton Mifflin and they encouraged her to write her first children's book, A Summer to Die, which was published in 1977 (when Lowry was 40 years old). She has since written more than 30 books for children and published an autobiography. Two of her works have been awarded the prestigious Newbery MedalNumber the Stars in 1990, and The Giver in 1993.
As an author, Lowry is known for writing about difficult subject matters within her works for children. She has explored such complex issues as racismterminal illnessmurder, and the Holocaust among other challenging topics. She has also explored very controversial issues of questioning authority such as in The Giver Trilogy. Her writing on such matters has brought her both praise and criticism. In particular, her work The Giver has been met with a diversity of reactions from schools in America, some of which have adopted her book as a part of the mandatory curriculum, while others have prohibited the book's inclusion in classroom studies.