Friday, June 28, 2013

Barnes and Noble: Another bookstore chain in trouble

     I love bookstores. There's a pleasure experienced in walking through shelves of books that I will never experience with online browsing at Amazon. (I do love online browsing at Amazon, but it's a different feeling.)
     So I'm distressed that recent business reports suggest Barnes and Noble may soon follow Borders into extinction. (For details, see here and here.) The main problem seems to be that its e-reader the Nook is failing to catch on. The result, according to one article, is that the stores are carrying fewer titles to cut expenses.
     I've seen some evidence of that myself. I've repeatedly looked for certain titles, only to discover they aren't carried by my nearby stores or available online-only through the Barnes and Noble website. Some of these titles I may order through, but -- as I may have mentioned in an earlier post -- I get gift certificates for Amazon through my credit card, so, if I'm going to buy online, there's a predisposition to use Amazon.
     We may soon live in a world where one must shop for books online. Common sense seems to suggest that this means people will only find books for which they are specifically looking, which is bad news for new authors and indeed all authors who don't have a big enough name to prompt people to search for their newest releases.
     I'm not happy about this.



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