Around Indie Bookstores

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Murder By The Book Wins PageTurner Award

Houston's Murder By The Book is the recipient of a 2007 James Patterson PageTurner Award in the amount of $2,500. The awards were created in 2005 by author James Patterson to recognize individuals, companies, schools, and other institutions that find original and effective ways to promote the excitement of books.

"What we love about this recognition is how Patterson targets individuals and organizations that spread the excitement of reading and books," said David Thompson, Murder By The Book's assistant manager and the founder of Busted Flush Press. "And we couldn't be more honored to be considered part of that group."

Other honors for the 28-year-old bookstore, owned by Martha Farrington, include a Mystery Writers of America Raven Award and nominations for the Publishers Weekly Bookseller of the Year Award. Murder By The Book's inventory is mostly American and British new and used mysteries.

Thompson said he thought Murder By The Book was selected for the award because, like many independents, "We pride ourselves on our knowledge of the stock ... and helpful and passionate employees. It is our goal with each sale to share our excitement for books -- mysteries and thrillers, of course! -- and to give people a reason to support independent booksellers and local businesses. We try to make it fun and we hope our passion is contagious."

Murder By The Book is planning to use some of its award money to throw a small party for its loyal customers.

The winner of a $50,000 PageTurner Award is Literacy Partners, which provides free, community-based adult and family literacy programs to more than 25,000 New York City residents. First Book Marketplace, a subsidiary of the award-winning nonprofit organization First Book, an online store that sells high-quality children's books at deeply discounted prices to organizations serving children from low-income families, won $25,000. And One More Story, Inc., an online library of the best of children's classic and contemporary literature, also won $25,000. The full list of winners is available on the PageTurner website.

Literary Life Honored for Historic Preservation

GLBA Broadside notes that Literary Life Bookstore & More in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been awarded one of the city's annual historic preservation awards.

Dr. Roni Devlin, an infectious disease specialist, opened the store in October 2007 in a once-abandoned bank building. Completely renovating the building, from its original gray-and-black mosaic tile floor to 15-foot-high tin ceiling, and creating the 1,000-square-foot store plus a two-level apartment took Devlin three years and well over $300,000.

Pictures documenting the transformation can be seen on the store's website.

Upstate New York Indies Get Bestseller List in Local Paper

The Lifestyles Section of the Saturday edition of the Batavia (New York) Daily News is now publishing the Book Sense Bestseller Lists each week. In an accompanying article explaining the switch from the Publishers Weekly lists to the Book Sense Bestsellers, the paper pointed to three area independents -- Present Tense in Batavia, Burlingham Books in Perry, and The Book Shoppe in Medina -- noting that the first two regularly report their store sales to the list.

"The change will also help voracious readers fill their appetites for more books and new authors," wrote Ben Beagle, the newspaper's lifestyles editor. "The Book Sense List regularly features recommendations from ABA members, notes books that are rising on the bestseller list, and each week books making their debuts on the list are highlighted. Readers will also see a more accurate reflection of what local readers are purchasing -- at least two local bookstores report sales to these lists -- and booksellers are recommending."