It's always wonderful to run the kind of news Nancy Olson, owner of Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, N.C., forwarded to us--from Quail Ridge's newsletter:

"It's time for the end of year State of the Store. The report is good. Our 2006 sales were up substantially over 2005--a surprise, considering they had been flat since 2001, and particularly interesting in light of the national decline in book sales of 2.9% in 2006. Our guesses as to why: institutional/school sales were up, our online sales ( were up, our events were exceptionally well attended, and most importantly, we have a solid core of absolutely loyal customers who would cut off their hands (ha) before they'd order from Whatever the reasons for our success, a big THANK YOU for supporting us, which also supports our community. I just signed a new lease that keeps us in our space for another nine years, so I'm happy.

"P.S. The landlord offered us $30,000 or whatever we need to refurbish the store!"
Ann Carlson, owner of Harborwalk Books, Georgetown, S.C., has opened the Book Stall in Aiken, S.C., and will have a grand opening reception a week from this coming Friday, March 16, the Aiken Standard reported.

Carlson plans to run monthly theme events around such possibilities as cookbooks, poetry, a benefit with the SPCA and children. She will split her time between the two stores.

"Aiken's downtown is a wonderful place to shop, and there wasn't a bookstore downtown," Carlson told the paper. "I thought it needed one."

The Book Stall is located at 413 Hayne Ave., Aiken, S.C. 29801; 803-644-0604.