Anderson’s Bookseller of Year; Exlund Takes Rep
Anderson’s Books—which includes Anderson’s Bookshops in Naperville and Downer’s Grove, Ill.,
ABCFairs, and Two Doors East—and Milwaukee-based sales rep John Eklund, with Harvard, Yale, and MIT presses, were named this year’s PW Bookstore of the Year and Rep of the Year. They will be honored at a ceremony at Book ExpoAmerica.

Anderson’s is a fifth-generation family bookstore that traces its roots back 136 years to the founding of W.W. Wickel Pharmacy (now Oswald’s Pharmacy), which sold books and other items before launching a separate bookstore in 1964. Co-owner Becky Anderson, who will be accepting the award, is currently v-p of the American Booksellers Association and has been selected to serve as president. She is also past president of both the Association of Booksellers for Children and the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association.

John Eklund began repping for Harvard, MIT, and Yale in 1998 after working as a buyer and bookseller at Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops. He posts his reports and musings on life as a book traveler on a blog named for his favorite book format, Paper Over Board (paperoverboard

Borders to Close 28 More Stores
One month after Borders got court approval to close 200 stores by the end of April, it is planning going-out-of-business sales for 28 more stores that will close by the end of May. In its first-day filings, Borders reserved the option to close up to 75 more stores on top of the initial 200. A quarter of the new closings will be in California.

Four Joseph-Beth Stores on The Block
Bowing to pressure from the Unsecured Creditors Committee, Joseph-Beth Booksellers is putting four of its stores and its assets up for auction. The bidding deadline is April 19. The auction will take place no later than April 22, with a court approval hearing slated for April 27. The auction comes after the committee submitted a scathing filing, skeptical of the bookseller’s ability to emerge from chapter 11. Joseph-Beth has four remaining stores (and a niche health store in a clinic) that the retailer believes can be profitable.

January Store Sales Fall
Bookstore sales fell 4.5% in January, to $2.19 billion, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The decline was due in part to snowstorms in much of the North that hindered sales to both trade and college bookstores. Sales to the overall retail market rose 7.4%.

O’Callaghan Resigns from HMH
Barry O’Callaghan, who through his ownership of Riverdeep led the 2006 purchase of Houghton Mifflin and a year later the acquisition of Harcourt from Reed Elsevier, has resigned as CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is being replaced on an interim basis by CFO Michael Muldowney. O’Callaghan, who had little stake left in HMH following a series of refinancing efforts, took over as CEO from Tony Lucki in April 2009.

Marvel Joins Diamond Digital
At the Diamond Retailer Summit in Chicago, Marvel announced plans to join Diamond Digital, a program previously launched by the comics distributor to allow physical comics shops to sell downloadable digital comics. Overall combined 2010 sales of periodical and graphic novel comics were reported to be down slightly, while gaming and apparel made big sales gains at comics stores.

Kinokuniya Challenged by Japan Disaster
The Kinokuniya Bookstore chain in Japan has suffered profound damage and business disruptions in the wake of last week’s earthquake and tsunami in the region, particularly at the Sendai location. The situation at the store in the devastated city of Sendai is unclear. It was one of the chain’s most profitable stores, but it has been difficult reaching employees in the city. The chain has continued receiving shipments of books and magazines from suppliers, although some weekly and monthly magazines have been delayed. Kinokuniya has 65 stores in Japan and eight in the U.S.