*Fine Books & Collections has released its first online issue, with articles by Nicholas Basbanes and others, several of the columns from the print issue, and lots of links. In the “Letters to the Editor”, this is the editor’s response to the lament of the demise of the printed version:
After six years of publishing Fine Books, we had 4,000 subscribers and comparable numbers in newsstand sales. Research suggests there are roughly 300,000 book collectors in the U.S., yet we weren’t reaching them in print. When we made the commitment, starting last December, to put more editorial content online, traffic on our web site jumped from 8,000 page views to 24,000 pages views—in a single month. Our short-term goal is 100,000 pages, and we think we’ll be there in the second quarter of 2009. The reality is that more people are using Fine Books online than ever did in print.
The content will be just as good. We may lose some people, but if new subscribers to our e-letter are any indication, collectors are excited about our efforts.—Ed.
[I like the format and the content, but I will forever miss the hand-held journal that I could take anywhere, read anytime…I am stuck at this computer way too long each day as it is.]
[Spring Wildflower ABC, from an article on book artists Donna and Peter Thomas of Santa Cruz, California in the January online FB&C]
*A nice article in the Boston Globe by Janet Mendelsohn on the bookstores, both new and used, in Montpelier, Vermont, the smallest capital in the country, and a budding book town.
*A reminder that Otter Creek Books in Middlebury Vermont will be hosting Beth Kanell, author of the young adult book The Darkness under the Water on Saturday, January 10th at 10 a.m. This story weaves together Abenaki Indian heritage, nature, Eugenics, and Vermont History. The setting is 1930 Vermont. Following a reading, Ms. Kanell will discuss how to do research in a used bookstore for crafting historical fiction. Kanell will be available to sign books. For further information on Beth Kanell visit http://www.bethkanell.com/. Kanell owns Kingdom Books, a used bookstore in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Both Kingdom Books and Otter Creek Used Books are members of the Vermont Antiquarian Booksellers Association (VABA). Refreshments will be served – from Middlebury Bagel & Deli.
* An article about a new website about rural New England booksellers at PR.com; see the site at Guide to Rural New England Booksellsers, an online effort to encourage people to visit their local bookshops rather than shopping for books online…
*Another bookstore closing, this one in New York City, the Librairie de France in Rockefeller Center, largely due to an increase in rent from $360,000. to one million $$ per year. See this article at Yahoo News.
*The New York Times on Google’s Hopes to open a Trove of Little-seen Books.
*Jarndyce Antiquarian Booksellers in London is offering a collection of 200 antique newspapers for £4,800…see this article at The Independent for more information.