Tuesday News: A bookless bookstore, losing lawsuit, tiny books, and poetic cities
New Chapter for Classic Paris Bookstore: Books Printed on Demand – A great profile of legendary Paris bookstore, Librairie les Puf, which has been converted to POD via the Espresso Book Machine (you can watch a video on the technology here). At a time when some physical bookstores are selling non-book merchandise to make the rent, a store like Les Puf can keep their footprint small and their book stock ever-growing:
From a business standpoint, Mr. Gaudefroy said, “I don’t have to worry about space for the stock. We’re in a space which measures less than 80 meters squared, and I can offer readers as many titles as I want.” And that is a lot of titles. All 5,000 books published by Les Puf are available, as well as an additional three million books compiled by On Demand Books, including titles from 10 large American publishers and the public domain.
Les Puf’s prestige in the industry has helped it secure even more titles — a group of French publishers are expected to hand over PDFs of their titles in a few weeks. “What’s really exciting is that, thanks to the on-demand model, we can revive old titles, which we previously hadn’t bothered with because they’d only sell five or 10 copies in a year,” Mr. Gaudefroy said. “On-demand, it’s a new economy for us.”
About 2,000 out-of-print Puf titles will be made available to customers in the coming months, Mr. Gaudefroy said. “We’re completely revising the chain of book production because we’re a bookseller, a publisher, a printer and also a distributor,” he said. – New York Times
Court tosses $1.8M award for Jesse Ventura involving Chris Kyle’s book ‘American Sniper’ – Although the movie version of “American Sniper” got a lot of negative attention, it was the book that incited a huge lawsuit by former Minnesota governor (and pro wrestler) Jesse Ventura, who claimed that Chris Kyle’s book defamed him and harmed his reputation among Navy SEALS. Kyle’s book attributes quotes to Ventura that the former governor denies, and he successfully sued Kyle’s estate, winning on a claim of defamation and unjust enrichment. On appeal by Kyle’s widow, the federal court threw out the unjust enrichment award and remanded the defamation claim back to the lower court for a new trial.
A key issue in the appeal was whether Kyle acted with “actual malice,” a demanding legal standard laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Times vs. Sullivan case in 1964. It means a plaintiff who’s a public figure must prove that a defendant knew that the statement in question was false or made it with reckless disregard for whether it was false. Kyle’s estate argued that the judge gave the jury faulty instructions on that point.
A separate issue was the $1.3 million award for unjust enrichment. Ventura’s attorneys argued that American Sniper shot to the top of the best-seller lists only because Kyle’s statements about Ventura thrust him into the national spotlight. The Kyle estate argued that no other court had awarded damages for unjust enrichment for allegedly defamatory speech. – Dallas Morning News
Don’t judge a book by its tiny cover – Holy smokes, this is the cutest thing ever. A “Covered Wagon” trailer houses an exhibition of “tiny books,” and this “Creativity Caravan” is traveling all across the United States this summer, thanks to its creator’s Kickstarter campaign (check out the website, because it has some great pictures of the books and the trailer).
The Tiny Book Show features hundreds of handmade books, each measuring no more than 3 inches in dimension, and made by artists of all ages from all over the world. This mobile exhibit is part of The Creativity Caravan’s program of offerings, including art workshops, online classes, school programs, and special events focusing on creativity, collaboration, and community. – The Recorder
The most Poetic cities in the World [infographic] – A project that began with the question, “What if we could tell you exactly which cities have been the most important [for remarkable poetic events] throughout history,” and came up with an infographic and a ranked list, plus a bunch of data you can browse yourself:
We grouped events by city, and ended up with the most poetic cities in the world. You can look at the infographic first, then we point out some events in each city, and finally you get to play with the information yourself. That’s right, go to the bottom of the page to start browsing through the cities to actually see what happened there, and to whom. Clicking London, for example, will take you to the page with all the writers who were, in any way, connected to London. Clicking on your favorite poet will show you events, like birth, death, publications, etc., associated with that poet. – My Poetic Side