Monday, July 4, 2016

Who's Killing America’s Chain Bookstores?

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.

Friday, March 11, 2016

A Trip Through Amazon’s First Physical Store

(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

Umberto Eco, famed author of 'The Name of the Rose,' dead at 84

(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

Saturday, February 6, 2016

This tiny Japanese bookstore only stocks one title at a time

( September 2014: Yoshiyuki Morioka, a bookseller who had been running a store in Tokyo, Japan for 10 years, had a curious thought. Lots of customers, it seemed, dropped in during book launches and other events to buy the same title; others often appeared overwhelmed by all the extra variety. So why not start a bookstore that only sold one book at a time? Continued

Friday, February 5, 2016

No, Amazon probably isn't opening hundreds of bookstores

(cnet) The man behind that wild Amazon bookstore rumor will need to take his time pulling his foot out of his mouth. Continued

Monday, January 25, 2016

The 10 Most Promising Books Coming in 2016

(Wired) Nobody can really predict which books will come to dominate the cultural conversation—but has that ever stopped anyone from trying? Continued

Monday, January 4, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Announcement Trailer

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.