In the fraught world of selling actual books in actual shops, it’s nice to know that right now, all over the planet, highly intelligent people are on your side. And they’re out there coming up with clever ways to get punters to realise that it’s way cooler to stroll down to your local bookshop than surf the internet with your credit card.
Here are some ideas from around the world that direct global consciousness towards the wonders of the humble bookshop.
The association of New Zealand booksellers strongly backs the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) as they join the battle against online retailer Amazon.
Booksellers NZ is a member of the EIBF, which yesterday announced support for the German Publishers and Booksellers Federation, which has filed an official complaint against Amazon with the German Federal Antitrust Authority.
The 14th Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) were announced in Sydney on Friday in front of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Minister for the Arts George Brandis with Pages & Pages Booksellers being named Independent Book Retailer of the Year. The award was shared with iconic Melbourne bookshop Readings with a judging panel of experts from across the book industry unable to split the two bookshops.
New Zealand has a long history of science fiction publishing for a young country, with books receiving both national and international critical attention. Anno Domini 2000, or, Woman’s Destiny, the book widely accepted to be this country’s first science fiction novel, was written in 1889 by former Prime Minister Julius Vogel.
Can we? Of course we can. What? Follow America in turning around book sales in New Zealand and see them grow rather than decline.
That’s the big message I came away with from attending the American Booksellers Association 9th annual Winter Institute, held this year in Seattle, WA. On occasions it was a bit tough to keep positive, in particular when Jonathon Noel from Nielsen in the UK presented a chart that showed that book sales in New Zealand in 2013 were down 19.3%.
Man Booker Prize winning Kiwi author Eleanor Catton is to be awarded an honorary degree from Victoria University.
Catton, whose 832-page novel The Luminaries scooped the literary world's most prestigious prize last year, will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature at the university's May graduation.
"We are extremely proud to count Eleanor among our illustrious alumni, and look forward to formally acknowledging her achievements with an honorary doctorate," Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh said.
Catton's remarkable success so early on in her writing career is clear evidence of her outstanding talent, he said.
I believe I might be at my happiest in a good bookshop or library. Both spaces induce either thrilling adrenaline rushes or a sense of serene wellbeing, and sometimes a slightly disturbing fusion of the two. It is something to do with the extraordinary potential hovering, the unexplored glories waiting for me – a powerful, urgent feeling I can remember as far back as my first visits to the Canterbury Public Library and, a little later, the Corner Bookshop in Merivale, and later still, the Canterbury University Bookshop, where my book-buying habit took proper flight and caused the normally sweet bank manager at the university branch of the BNZ to speak rather sternly to me about my overdraft.