The Strand Sells $100,000 Book
On January 28, New York City's Strand Bookstore sold the most expensive book it had in its by-appointment-only Rare Book Room. After 18 years in the store's possession, a William Shakespeare Second Folio, published in 1632 and containing all of the Bard's plays, was purchased by an anonymous collector for $100,000. The two new reigning price kings in the store's Rare Book Room retail for $35,000 each: an illustrated copy of James Joyce's Ulysses, signed by both Joyce and artist Henri Matisse and a first edition (1856) of James Audubon's seven-volume Birds of America.
Indie Press Book Nabs Langum Prize
As editor Kate Sage remembers it, she knew immediately that Peter Donahue's novel, Madison House, was something special when it landed on her desk. Sage, an editor and cofounder of the Portland, Ore.-based Hawthorne Books (editorial staff: two), is now the proud publisher of a 2005 Langum Prize winner. The award, which is given out annually and carries a cash prize of $1,000, was that much sweeter for Sage because this year marked the first time small presses were invited to enter the competition. Madison House, which won top honors in the Historical Fiction category and focuses on a controversial civic project launched in Seattle during the early 1900s in which the city government gutted and rezoned a local neighborhood, was, in Sage's words, the kind of book which she thought "would make us more nationally seen." She seems to have been right on that front. Since Donahue's novel made headlines for its win, Sage said that more media outlets have been calling and the submission pile has swelled. Hawthorne has not yet decided whether it will go back to press on the title—it got an initial printing of 4,000.
Ready for My Close-up
Last week, The Regulator Bookshop in Raleigh, N.C., hosted a TV film crew for six hours as two scenes were filmed inside the store for the Spanish-language soap opera Nuestro Barrio (Our Neighborhood), which runs Sunday afternoons on the WB Network. "It was pretty exciting—like being in the circus for a while," said co-owner John Valentine. "It was a curious balance between keeping the store open and tip-toeing around the film crew and miles of wire. They offered one of our staff members $100 to play a clerk. I was amazed how big their crew was and that they put everything back the way it was when they were finished."