Thursday, March 06, 2008

Sharing a Stage

Is it me or was it weird that B&N Chairman Len Riggio backed out of participating in yesterday's AAP annual meeting? Could it have had anything to do with Amazon's Steve Kessel also sharing the limelight? If there was something to this - and personally I never enjoyed participating in events with my competitors so I empathize - one wonders why the handlers didn't realize the possible problem and point it out a little further in advance of the meeting. No matter, George Jones, CEO of Borders seized the opportunity to speak to a room full (presumably) of publishers. According to Publisher's Lunch, he noted the initial success of the new store concept in Ann Arbor:
Borders CEO George Jones led off the APP's meeting this morning, saying that early indications from their new concept store are encouraging. Though the store carries twenty percent fewer titles than a typical superstore, "the number of titles selling has doubled" according to Jones, who calls the change "dramatic." The store has only been open two and half weeks, but Jones says "sales have been way better than expectations."

And according to people in attendance that was about it.

Laura Bush also spoke about the lack of reading in the US and specifically among the young. A particularly disingenuous speech given a) she said virtually the same thing in 2002, b) she was a librarian (of what level is suspiciously vague) and this shouldn't be a surprise and c) we are at a point where her administration can't do anything about it. (A little like Africa but on a smaller scale).

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