Longtime owner of The Strand bookstore Fred Bass, 89, died on Wednesday at home in Manhattan of congestive heart failure. He started working at the store, founded by his father, when he was 13, and just retired last November. During that time, he oversaw the store’s significant growth from its original home on Fourth Street with 70,000 volumes to “the largest used-book store in the world” on Broadway — where he bought the store’s building for $8.2 million in 1997 — with millions of volumes and a storage warehouse in Brooklyn.
The NYT quotes a remark Bass made to New York Magazine in 1977: “It’s a disease. I get an attack, something like a panic, of book-buying. I simply must keep fresh used books flowing over my shelves. And every day the clerks weed out the unsalable stuff from the shelves and bins and we throw it out. Tons of dead books go out nightly. And I bought ’em. But I just have to make room for fresh stock to keep the shelves lively.” His daughter Nancy Bass Wyden now owns the store.
Award-winning Israeli novelist Aharon Appelfeld, 85, died Thursday in Tel Aviv.
National Book Award winner and former Young People’s Poet Laureate Jacqueline Woodson has been named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. She said in a statement, “I think the work ahead of me is challenging. I don’t believe there are ‘struggling’ readers, ‘advanced’ readers or ‘non’ readers. I’d love to walk away from my two years as Ambassador with the qualifiers gone and young people able to see themselves beyond stigma or oft-times debilitating praise. Martin Luther King Jr. said people should not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. In that regard, I think young people should not be judged by the level of their reading but by the way a book makes them think and feel. By the way it gives them hope. By the way it opens them up to new perspectives and changes them. I’m excited to have these conversations with some of the best conversationalists in our country–our young people.”
At Liveright, Gina Iaquinta has been promoted to assistant editor.
Brennin Cummings has been promoted to assistant marketing manager for Putnam.
Book of the Month Club readers selected John Boyne’s The Heart’s Invisible Furies as their favorite book of 2017.