Waterstones is receiving criticism in British media for small-town bookstores they have opened over the past 3 years, charged with "posing as independent bookshops to avoid the backlash against the homogenization of Britain's high streets," the Guardian writes. The stores, which are in Rye, Southwold and Harpenden, notify customers of their corporate affiliation with only a handwritten note in the window. Critics argue that the local communities would have rejected the arrival of another chain store. But none of these stores is new: The Southwold Bookshop opened almost 3 years ago; the Rye store followed in mid-2015 and the Harpenden store opened in April 2016. Some independent booksellers did speak out when the Southwold store opened.
In addressing the controversy on BBC Radio, Waterstones' managing director James Daunt essentially conceded the argument: "We are coming into quite sensitive high streets with predominantly independent retailers on them and we wish to behave as they do." The subterfuge is ok, because people like the stores: "The vast majority [of people] have welcomed them greatly. They are very small shops in towns that had independents and very much wish they still had independents but don't." He added later, "Part of the reason we did it is to convince our own booksellers that they have the autonomy that they do have."
The Lit Bar, the bookstore and wine bar Noelle Santos plans to open in the Bronx has hit its crowd funding goal. With three weeks left in the Indiegogo campaign, the project has already raised more than $100,000.
The Bookstore, the only bookseller in Elko, Nevada, has closed, citing its inability to compete with Amazon and the Internet as the reason.
Kari Sutherland has joined Bradford Literary Agency as an agent. Previously she was an editor at Harper Children's.
Bestselling Australian children's book author Mem Fox, 70, is giving a face to the excesses of border control under the Trump administration. Now back in Australia, Fox told the media that she was detained and interrogated for two hours at Los Angeles Airport in early February, while traveling to a literary conference in Milwaukee, accused of having the wrong visa. (US officials were in error; Fox has visited the US more than 100 times in the past without incident.) She told Australia's The Advertiser, "The way I was treated would have made any decent American shocked to the core, because that's not America as a whole, it really isn't. It's just that people have been given permission to let rip in a fashion that is alarming." She noted, "I am old and white, innocent and educated, and I speak English fluently. Imagine what happened to the others in the room, including an old Iranian woman in her 80s, in a wheelchair."
She told ABC in Australia, "I have never in my life been spoken to with such insolence, treated with such disdain, with so many insults and with so much gratuitous impoliteness." Fox added, "The entire interview took place with me standing, with my back to a room full of people in total public hearing and view — it was disgraceful. I felt like I had been physically assaulted which is why, when I got to my hotel room, I completely collapsed and sobbed like a baby." Fox will likely never visit the US again after feeling like "a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay."
Target announced their book club selections for March, April, and May all at once The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth Church is the March pick; The Girls In The Garden by Lisa Jewell is the choice for April; and The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr is the May selection.
In addition, the March Pennie's Pick at Costco is A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman