The Inklings, a store in Washington, came up with that slogan. I like it.
We actually hand the book to you with our own little flesh and blood digits. Try talking books with a robot.
The SEC is investigating B & N for financial irregularities. More on that later.
For a couple of years there, it looked like ebooks were going to run book/books out of town. But I think that possibility is receding now. People still want book/books.
There is no reason the two formats can't co-exist.
I sort of predicted that, based on gut instinct. The way I thought of it was this:
I'm a reader -- I love books -- therefore readers love books.
I've thought from the beginning that Barnes and Noble would be viable if they just stuck to selling books. But it looked like they were doing everything they could to subvert that. Turning large sections and manpower to the Nook. Giving every indication that they thought books were a goner.
I tell you, nothing turns off a buyer like shoving the product to one side as if it doesn't matter.
B & N doesn't love books -- readers love books -- therefore readers don't love B & N.
I understand the impulse, but I think it was panic. A wrong move that didn't think through the consequences. They made the wrong analogy of being like DVD's or CD's. Sure, they look the same, but I believe where it matters, in the heart of the reader, they are completely different.
What do I care what format I get my music in?
But I do care what format I get my books in. Apples and Oranges.
How was the Nook ever going to beat Apple and Amazon and all the cheap knockoffs? They were always going to be in the middle, which is a very uncomfortable place to be with new technology.
Anyway, if I'm reading this SEC investigation correctly, what B & N did was manipulate the financial records to make the Nook look like it was doing better than it was -- I'm assuming at the cost of making books look like they were doing worse.
When you have a losing strategy, it seems to me that you don't throw out the winning parts to support the losing parts.
You stop doing the things that you are losing in.
If billionaire came along and bought this company and made it private and concentrated on just selling books -- I think the chain would survive. They might need to scale back, but they've got the infrastructure, and as I said, I think there will be a demand for books.
Meanwhile, despite all the doom and gloom, independent bookstores continue to make a comeback.
4 days ago