Today in books and publishing: Chelsea's Printed Matter drenched; New York library patrons get week-long extension; D.C. Barnes & Noble to close; happy National Novel Writing Month.
An update on Sandy's damage to bookstores. Earlier this week, it still wasn't safe for many bookstore owners to venture out and check on the condition of their shops. The anticipation must've been excruciating for the people behind Printed Matter, a store specializing in artists' books. Located in Chelsea, the store received some pretty serious flooding. The books stacked in their basement suffered the most damage, getting soaked through. Yesterday, they posted a photo of the damage, along with this notice to Facebook:
Call for Volunteers! The basement of Printed Matter was severely flooded during the Hurricane, we're going to be meeting up at the storefront tomorrow at 11 to start clearing out all of the soggy goods from the basement. We could definitely use some extra pairs of hands if anyone is in the neighborhood and could spare a few hours to help.
If you're in the area and want to help your fellow bibiliophiles through these depressing times, head down to 195 Tenth Avenue and lend a hand. Many Manhattan bookstores got through Sandy fine, and are just waiting for the power to return before reopening. [Shelf Awareness]
Take a little more time with those library books, if you checked them out of the New York Public Library system. The NYPL is reporting almost no structural damage to their buildings. They're still dealing with some power issues, but 55 of their branches have reopened today and will provide Internet to patrons. The servers that support the library system's website and catalog are still down though, so even if you wanted to return books, you couldn't. "All fines on books due from Oct. 29 until Nov. 3 are waived until Thursday, Nov. 8," they've informed their readers. [NYPL]
Barnes & Noble to shut down D.C. location. Travelers passing through Washington, D.C.'s Union Station soon won't be able to buy train ride reading material from their favorite chain bookseller. Barnes & Noble is closing down their store in northeast D.C. just after Christmas this year. Union Station will be undergoing redevelopment soon, and B&N spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating says it wouldn't be wise for them to stick it out through the construction. The news comes in the same year that saw another Barnes & Noble in the nation's capitol shutting its doors for good in Georgetown. No word yet on what will take the Union Station location's space. [The Washington Post]
Let the national novel writing begin. Ladies and gentlemen, startup your laptops. Today marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, a challenge to see whether or not writers have the stamina and discipline to finish a novel of about 50,000 words (~175 pages) in thirty days. 256,618 participants committed to last year's challenge, but only 36,843 finished their novels. "They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers," reads the NaNoWriMo's website. "They walked away novelists." This glory can be yours too, and you might even get to befriend some fellow aspiring novelists through the organization's meet-ups taking place all this month in regions across the globe. [NaNoWriMo]
James Ellroy continues to give the best Q&A quotes. The hard-boiled author of such artful noir as L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia chats with The Economist to promote his new Byliner novella Shakedown. His protagonist in the new work is Fred Otash, a real-life private eye and tabloid writer who, according to Ellroy, "charged the genitals of scandal rag journalism." The interview also touches on Ellroy's private life and work ethic. "I do not trouble myself with popular culture. I don’t read," he says, which seems a strange thing for a writer to admit, but O.K. When he's not writing or ignoring pop culture, he says, "I lie in the dark; quite often I have conversations with women who aren’t in the room with me, lately, chiefly, the woman across the street." [The Economist]
Truman Capote fans have their prayers answered. A missing portion of Answered Prayers, the legendary unfinished novel by Truman Capote, was exhumed from the Manuscripts and Archives Division's cache of Capote papers at the New York Public Library. The six-page story "Yachts and Things" will make its debut in the pages of the December Vanity Fair. [The New York Times]
If John Malkovich were to review A.M. Homes' May We Be Forgiven, he might write like this:
Her fiction is like an alcoholic friend I’m rather fond of. At dinner parties, she is scintillating: a bright, volcanic mess; and when she leaves, I find myself missing her inappropriate sense of humor and her ribald timing. Most people are so dull now. Isn’t the light more interesting when one has spent time in the dark?