Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Powell's City of Books Remodel, Amazon's Shameful Stunt, and more Book News

 Powell's City of Books is remodeling, and I can hardly wait to see how much better it looks this summer, when I make my annual pilgrimage to Powells with my husband and son.

The project to remodel parts of Powell's Books flagship store in Portland, Ore.,
begins next Monday and will continue for about six months. Announced
last May, the project will remodel the building housing the Green and
Blue Rooms, making structural and cosmetic changes and additions that
include a new entrance, a new roof, energy-efficient windows, fresh
exterior paint, additional skylights and new lighting. The rooms will
have a new layout, as well as a look and feel that "both respects the
history and retains the spirit of Powell's."

During the project, the Green and Blue Rooms will be closed, and books
currently housed in those areas will be temporarily moved to other
locations in the building. The store will continue normal operations
throughout the project.

CEO Miriam Sontz commented: "After months of careful planning and
preparation for this upgrade, it's exciting to have the remodel project
underway. We have been very conscientious about maintaining the high
level of service and selection we normally offer our customers, and
we're confident that visitors will be able to enjoy the Powell's
experience as usual."

This really is pretty low of Amazon...the UW Bookstore is famous for bringing in authors from around the globe, for having the best Science Fiction/Fantasy section in King County (curated by Duane, who is an amazing guy) and for providing good deals on books with sales all the time.
Shame on Amazon for pulling this stunt.

New Amazon Low: Trying to Steal Customers Outside Indie Store
Yesterday during rush at the University of Washington, Seattle, showed some amazing nerve: in front of the University
Bookstore's store in the Husky Union Building (HUB), Amazon employees
set up a display urging students to sign up for Amazon Student, a free
program for six months offering two-day shipping and special deals (and
then segues to Amazon Prime).

HUB store manager Jonathan Day described the scene: "As the day
progressed, I watched as very friendly college-age Amazon
representatives approached student after student, inquiring whether they
had already purchased their textbooks and informing them that they could
save hundreds by shopping through Amazon Student. Peak activity was at
12:30, when they held a raffle, giving away several Kindle Fires. The
crowd filled the hallway and stairwell, while the Amazon representatives
called out winning numbers over a bullhorn."

I would hate to think that perhaps Karma has made it's way to Amazon's CEO...

On New Year's Day, during a holiday visit to the Galapagos Islands,
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos suffered a sudden kidney stone attack
and was transported by an Ecuadoran Navy helicopter to a Galapagos
airport, where his private plane whisked him back to the U.S. An Amazon
spokesperson quoted Bezos as saying, "Galapagos: five stars. Kidney
stones: zero stars." (The Ecuadoran navy issued a release about the
evacuation, which was widely quoted by U.S. media; Amazon confirmed the

Bezos's own Washington Post had a straight take on the painful story. By
contrast, in an item headlined "Ecuadoran Navy Delivers for Amazon Chief
the New York Times had fun, writing: "The Ecuadorean Navy offered Jeff
Bezos same-day shipping on an Amazon Prime package: Mr. Bezos
himself.... Knowing Mr. Bezos' savvy use of promotional opportunities,
it's surprising he did not say he fetched help by using the new 'Mayday'
feature on Kindle tablets."

For its part, Gawker ended its account of the incident
this way: "There's been no word if Charlie Rose was waiting holding a
bedpan. If you can't immediately get a country's navy on the phone, it's
not recommended that you contract a kidney stone on a remote island."

In a more serious vein, several papers commented that, as the Wall
Street Journal put it, "Bezos's health mishap is a reminder
to Amazon stockholders of the CEO's value to the company. Like many
companies led by founder/CEOs (see: Google's Larry Page, Berkshire
Hathaway's Warren Buffett, Apple's Steve Jobs and Oracle's Larry
Ellison), Amazon is considered inseparable from Bezos."

The drama dept at my high school did a reader's theater of this book, so I still have most of it memorized. I am thrilled that Disney has decided to make a movie of it. It's a classic of children's lit, in my opinion.

Movies: Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

A first peek is now available of Disney's Alexander & the Terrible,
Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
the first live-action film adaptation of Judith Viorst's 1972
illustrated children's classic, Broadway World reported, noting that the
project, directed by Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl, Cedar Rapids, Youth
in Revolt) from a screenplay by Rob Lieber, hits theaters nationwide on
October 10. The cast includes Megan Mullally, Jennifer Coolidge, Steve
Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey and Ed Oxenbould.

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