Hastings, the country's third largest book retailer, has gone under. Hastings management blames the internet, but the internet didn’t kill Hastings. No mention of its ancient POS system or its bloated headquarters full of neurotics. No mention of their bright idea to buy an East Coast DVD retailer. When was the last time anybody on the East Coast bought a DVD? Let’s call internet retailers what they are: competition. Hastings couldn’t compete because it was a bad company.
Same goes for Borders, which was a tragic case as it started out as such a good company. I remember back in ‘95 when a Borders regional manager said to me, in no uncertain terms, “Borders will never sell books on the internet!,” as if it were some sort of moral issue. What was that all about? But she was right, for all practical purposes, Borders never did.
Who’s next? I’m guessing Books-A-Million, which was voted the worst company in America to work for in 2014. I’m sure there are worse places in the U.S. to work for, rendering plants come to mind, but there aren’t many places worse to shop than BAM. You can’t walk through the door without somebody trying to shove a $25 club membership or magazine subscription down your throat. And those dumb employees. No, you can’t help me, you aren’t well read enough to help me, or anybody else. Barnes & Noble is almost as bad. It's a shame they didn't take some of that Nook money and hire some real booksellers.
Who’s killing the nation’s chain bookstores? Sadly, it looks like a case of mass suicide.
Monday, July 4, 2016
Friday, March 11, 2016
(NYTimes) ... On Wednesday, Nick Wingfield, who covers Amazon for The New York Times, visited the only Amazon bookstore in existence, in the University Village mall in Seattle. From inside the store, he had an online chat with Alexandra Alter, who writes about publishing for The Times. They discussed Amazon’s strategy and how the retailer’s stores differ from other bookstores. Here’s what they had to say: Continued
Saturday, February 20, 2016
(CNN) Author Umberto Eco, famous for the novels "Foucault's Pendulum" and "The Name of the Rose," died Friday, said Lori Glazer, spokeswoman for his U.S. publisher. Continued
Photo: Università Reggio Calabria
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Friday, February 5, 2016
Monday, January 25, 2016
Monday, January 4, 2016
If I were given the task of erecting a monument to the saviors of bricks & mortar bookstores, it would be a statue of J. K. Rowling and E. L. James. Imagine that.