It’s Saturday! Must be time for “Spider Bites,” the weekly feature where we crawl around and across the Web to find interesting book-related news.
One peek into the future
Kassia Krozser at booksquare.com makes the case for “Bookstores. Now More Than Ever,” coming down firmly on the side of a future where the curated bookstore with a passion for customer service will be essential. As quoted in Shelf Awareness, she says why indies (like Destinations Booksellers) have leverage. “Customer service. Community. When it comes to a physical store, I go there because I want a certain level of interaction. I want human contact. I want tactile. I want readings. Events. Original content. Something unique that I can’t get anywhere else. I want to be seduced by a cover with a striking image, and, honestly, I think booksellers have a better idea of what attracts readers than publishers (especially those publishers who don’t leave New York very often).”
Passages to get your blood pumping
Kathleen Massara, writing for Flavorwire, offers up 10 suggestions for the best literary sex scenes not penned by a great male novelist. It’s a little hard to understand precisely why she chose that distinction, but it turns out she is on to something here. She selected an evocative scene from The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore, which is the story of a truly evolved chimpanzee in love with his lab attendant. Don’t worry. These aren’t selections that will even make you blush, but they do show the power of words to evoke the essence of love. Happy St. Valentine’s Day.
Booksellers at the White House
My colleagues in the American Booksellers Association renewed an 82-year-old tradition last month when they met with President Obama in a distinctly oval office in Washington. They donated books to the White House library from authors as diverse as Cynthia Ozick, Ron Chernow, and Matt Taibbi. You can read the entire list here and see the official photo. Good looking digs, eh?
Out of control?
Customer service is our bread and butter. Some people value it. Some couldn’t care less. The Taiwan bookstore manager in this Youtube video found himself doing damage control after a dicey try at providing good customer service backfired on him when another patron took her objections to the next level. Be sure to click the “CC” for closed captioning before launching the online video. Anyone willing to stage a tantrum in exchange for a 20% discount? You have to let me record it on video and put it up on Youtube, though. No ambushes, please. Offer subject to discontinuation at my discretion.