Dog-Eared and Dispatched: March 1, 2015
From the discovery of a lost tale to the destruction of rare books, this has been a tumultuous week in the book world. Barnes and Noble, though, has managed to do something that’s made Wall Street Happy, and the West Coast port strike is over at last. Ready for more? Read on!
While cleaning out his attic, 80-year-old Walter Elliot found a lost Sherlock Holmes story in a collection of pamphlets put together to raise funds for a new bridge in Selkirk in 1904. Although there is some doubt as to whether the story was actually penned by Arthur Conan Doyle (“the famous litterateur”), he was apparently in town for the fundraising bazaar, and a signed copy of the story apparently exists. The mystery deepens. [Telegraph, Huffington Post, BBC]
As its stores buckle under the weight of snow, Barnes and Noble announces that it is separating its college stores from its retail and NOOK units. The college/educational division will become a separate publicly traded company called B&N Education, in the hopes that this will optimize both trade and college sales. Wall Street seems cheered by the plan, and the company’s shares reached 2009 levels. In the tradition of keeping one’s friends close and one’s enemies closer, the troubled nook division will become more closely enmeshed with the retail division. Whether this will allow Barnes and Noble – which has been closing stores across the country – to survive remains to be seen. [Shelf Awareness, Publishers Weekly, Barnes and Noble College, Reuters, MobyLives!]
- Turkish novelist Yasar Kemal died on Saturday at the age of ~91. His debut novel, Memed, My Hawk was first published in 1955.
- An excursion into the art of literary biography.
- Yes, editors are aware of the lack of diversity in publishing.
- The strike in West Coast ports has ended, but it will be a while before things are back to normal.
- Poets & Writers is releasing an app to promote local literary events.
- A young evangelical leader lost a book deal after coming out in support of the LGBTQ community.
- Hitler’s manifesto will be published again in Germany after copyright lapses in December.
- Eight thousand rare books burned as ISIS bombed Mosul library.