ABA announces board candidates and diversity task force; Samuel French Bookstore in London to close; Word After Word opens in California; and more.

American Booksellers Association Announces Three Board Candidates: Kenny Brechner of Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers in Farmington, Me.; Jamie Fiocco of Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, N.C.; and Christine Onorati of WORD in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jersey City, N.J., have been chosen to stand for election to three-year terms (2017-2020) as directors on the ABA Board.

Booksellers Appointed to ABA Advisory Council and Diversity Task Force: In response for calls to diversify the American Booksellers Association's agenda at Winter Institute, the ABA has announced new appointees to the Booksellers Advisory Council, which "provides the board with a broad cross-section of views from within the community of independent booksellers on a wide range of topics; members serve for a two-year term." A new diversity task force consists of ten members and will advise on diversity issues.

London's Samuel French Bookstore to Close After 187 Years: Due to rent increases of 200-300% over the last five years, the drama bookstore will close its physical store in Fitzroy Square in April and move all operations online. Though the store had seen revenues increase by about 15% over the past two years, “it’s nothing like enough to bridge the gap with the rent,” said Douglas Schatz, the store's managing director.

New Bookstore Opens in Truckee, Calif.: Following the closure of The Bookshelf bookstore in January, Truckee is getting a new bookstore—Word After Word—which opens this week. The new shop is less than 1,000 sq.-ft. but aims to be attractive. “We’re going for kind of an old Paris bookstore feel, but with a modern vibe," said co-owner Andie Keith.

St. Croix Antiquarian Books in Stillwater, Minn., to Close: One of Twin Cities' oldest bookstore will close after the store's landlord sold the building and the bookstore owner failed to find a buyer for 30,000 books at the asking price of $625,000. The final day of business will be July 31.

Defending JK Rowling, Bookstore Owner Tweets Harry Potter at Piers Morgan: After Morgan expressed support for Donald Trump's travel ban and was told to "eff off" by Bill Maher on TV, Harry Potter's creator applauded on Twitter, prompting Morgan to respond he'd never read any of Harry Potter. The Big Green Bookshop in North London, England then tweeted the entirety of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to Morgan's account.

Hong Kong Pop-Up Bookstore Sells Self-Censored Books: At a new pop-up bookstore in Hong Kong, open on February 16 and 17, Amnesty International is selling more than 1,000 books with blacked-out passages as an art project to protest censorship.