This week, Len Riggio, Barnes & Noble Inc. chairman and largest stockholder, made his first public appearance since he declined in August to purchase the chain’s retail stores. “Riggio said he was confident in the stores’ future,” Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “But he also got a little testy with the institutional shareholders who have pressured him repeatedly over the future of the cash-bleeding Nook Media division.” Last month, Barnes & Noble reported a consolidated $87 million first quarter loss.
For independent booksellers, 2013 is a year of extremes, Albanese notes. Many find themselves on the brink of closure, but in North Dakota, an oil boom has helped Val Stadick’s seven-year-old bookstore Main Street Books, in Minot. “Stadick told PW she has bounced back from a flood two years ago, with sales up 10% to 20%. She anticipates her 2013 will be her best year ever,” he says.