The Most Interesting Book News Of The Week Was….


Here are the stories from the last week in Today in Books that you all found the most interesting, at least measured by the number of times you clicked through to read the story.

In ascending order:

Denis Johnson Kept a Huge Commonplace Book. And You Can Download it.

Twitter is still good sometimes. I don’t know how else I would have found out that Denis Johnson collected quotes about writing (or that he thought could be applied to writing), and that you can download his commonplace book just as a regular old PDF. No ads or popovers or sign-ins or anything. And what a treasure trove it is. I am going to be thinking about this one from an August Wilson interview in which Wilson cites the Bhagavad Gita (I told you this is a gold mine): “You have the right to the work but not the reward.”

A GoFundMe To Bring The Pacific Northwest Its First Romance Bookstore

Katherine Morgan is trying to open the Pacific Northwest’s first bookstore dedicated to romance in the most modern way: a crowd-sourcing of $100,000 to get the doors open, the shelves stocked, and the registers ringing. Morgan has a meaningful online presence, and her Grand Gesture store (amazing name) has a digital storefront. But raising the total money needed to open the store, and not just some portion of it, is unusual. Generally, stores don’t try to raise the whole bankroll, but I don’t see why it isn’t worth trying. If you are inclined to donate $25 bucks or whatever towards 20% of a store’s start-up costs, what does it matter if that $25 goes to covering the whole thing. As of right now, just a few hours in, Morgan has raised a few thousand dollars. I would be thrilled for this thing to ping out and go visit it someday.

Costco Plans to Stop Selling Books Year-Round

I had heard from a Book Riot reader that they were seeing some weird activity around the books section at their local Costco, so this story about Costco scaling back their stocking of books isn’t a huge surprise. We definitely need as many places for people who don’t go out of their way to find books to have a chance to pick something up at the spur of the moment, and Costco is one of the largest players left like that. Costco is a logistics company more than it is a retailer, so it makes some sense that the physical realities of carrying books (they turn over a lot, have to be placed by hand, etc) were spotlighted as reasons for the change.

Barnes & Noble Picks the Best Books of the Year…So Far

Barnes & Noble continues its recent format for best books list: grouping titles not by genre, but by….other things (books with sprayed edges, modern love, and others). Let me just highlight a few wild cards: being one of the four literary fiction titles selected (and literary fiction being in the top carousel), Real Americans‘s inclusion in the “spredges” category (sometimes gimmicks work), sports romances get their own group, and, as far as I can tell, no group dedicated to YA.

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