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Nook Failure, Lack of Foot Traffic Could Spell Doom For Barnes & Noble 330

Posted by Soulskill
from the dead-tree-viewing-gallery dept.
tripleevenfall sends in a story at Yahoo Finance forecasting the end of Barnes & Noble. Quoting: "The last nationwide book retailer may be writing its final chapter. Barnes & Noble's latest quarterly results show a 7.4% drop in revenues and a $122 million loss for the fourth-quarter of its fiscal year. B&N's disastrous focus on making Nook e-Readers is weighing heavily on the chain's operations. A 17% drop in Nook revenues and stunning $475 million loss for the device division in 2013 are hobbling the company's ability to keep its stores afloat. B&N appears to be cannibalizing itself with branded tablets and cross-platform e-reader applications, which render the stores increasingly irrelevant."
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Nook Failure, Lack of Foot Traffic Could Spell Doom For Barnes & Noble

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  • by alen (225700) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:11PM (#44105417)

    On my way to the Starbucks in the back

    • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:26PM (#44105617) Homepage Journal

      On my way to the Starbucks in the back

      It's not a Starbucks. It's the Barnes & Noble Cafe featuring Starbucks coffee.

      And next time, I'm probably going to stop at the front and pick up one of those Nook HD+ 9" tablets they now have on fire sale for $150 while they still have them. It now has Google Play and all the apps available there without rooting it, and I can't see why it won't still be a decent tablet even if B&N goes completely under.

      • by faedle (114018)

        Actually, there are a few Barnes and Noble stores with full Starbucks locations. Tanasbourne, Oregon is one such example.

        • Mine always has the iPhone free app and media codes. I grab a bunch for the Dunkin donuts people I know in exchange for game of thrones

          And since the wheel chair ramp is through the Starbucks, I have to go to the bookstore if I have my kid with me in the stroller

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            Can't you just pick up the stroller and carry it up a few stairs? How much does a stroller with a small child weigh anyway?

      • by Ambvai (1106941)

        I can't install third-party apps on it though. (Kindle Store, Humble Bundle games, etc.) without modding it though. Which is easy though; maybe 30 minutes from start to finish, if you don't have the files already.

        • by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @09:19PM (#44108007)

          Get a MicroSD card and install Cyanogenmod on it. The Nook can dual-boot to the uSD card without any sort of modding or rooting. I do it and switch between the B&N version of Android and Cyanogenmod depending on what I want to do.

          **This is with a Nook Color. I don't know if the newer tablets can do it.

          • Get a MicroSD card and install Cyanogenmod on it. The Nook can dual-boot to the uSD card without any sort of modding or rooting. I do it and switch between the B&N version of Android and Cyanogenmod depending on what I want to do.

            **This is with a Nook Color. I don't know if the newer tablets can do it.

            They can, though I had booting problems with both a 64GB SanDisk and a 32GB SanDisk on my HD+. When the Nooks started including Google Play in the last couple of updates, I just went to the stock Nook system, updated, and started putting in my apps from the play store.

        • I can't install third-party apps on it though. (Kindle Store, Humble Bundle games, etc.) without modding it though. Which is easy though; maybe 30 minutes from start to finish, if you don't have the files already.

          You no longer have to mod it. They now come with Google Play. If you have an un-modded nook, the last two updates included Google Play, so all you have to do is update the tablet. I've put all kinds of apps on my HD and HD+.

    • by lymond01 (314120) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @07:54PM (#44107387)

      Okay, this was marked "Funny" but why go to a bookstore when you can browse, borrow, and read samples of books from anywhere? Why go to a music store when I can download from anywhere?

      As long as the functionality of the bookstore is no greater than the functionality of my ebook reader, what is the draw? I can get reviews, recommendations, top 100 lists by genre, new releases, etc all in the palm of my hand, none of which I can get at the bookstore unless I bring my internet device.

      So sure...want me to show up at your warehouse-sized bookstore? Give me some good live music (a la the Eolian). Give me cake. Give me coffee. Hell, give me a beer or glass of wine. Give me tables with cabled iPads so I can surf book selections whilst drinking my beer and listening to a lutist then go grab them off your shelf when I go. Or when I stay.

      Save money and make your stores smaller. Maybe sell only certain genres, or hardcovers, or softcovers (because who buys hardcovers anymore?). But keep the food, keep the music, keep the kiosk tables, keep freaking quiz night, just give me a reason to walk in your store, because while I love me a good bookstore, I love me the beach/forest/cafe/couch/bed more.

      • by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @09:25PM (#44108067)

        Why go to the movies when you can watch it online? Why go to theater or a sports arena when you can see it on TV? Why go sightseeing when you can use Google Street View?

        Some things are just better in person. Personally, I find a book store much easier to browse a category of books when I'm not looking for something very specific. I also find paper books much easier to flip through randomly to get a sense of the structure and content of the book than the electronic counterpart.

        I agree with what you say about adding value to it... make book stores more than just a store.

      • by jp10558 (748604) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @10:44PM (#44108471)

        I love Amazon, and I've used e-book readers since 2000. They're great if I know exactly what book I want to read, or if I know I want to read the next book from Author X. Amazon is even sometimes useful in their recommendations of what people read or looked at that were similar to the book I'm currently looking at.

        What all the web based tools fall down for me is browsing. I can't look at a shelf of Thrillers, Mysteries, or Fantasy. I won't find new types of books via Amazon's recommendations, just an ever narrowing slice of books more and more similar to the ones I've already bought.

        Maybe I'm old fashioned somehow, but I don't necessarily enjoy the bubble effect the web has. When I want a new book I find interesting, I can browse a bookstore and likely come out with one in 15 minutes. With Amazon, I've spent weeks trying to find a "good book" to read that isn't a sequel, or extremely similar to one I've just read.

        I also find that while I'll pick up a book that may be enjoyable from a shelf based on cover art, blurb on the back etc, Amazon almost has too much information - do I really want a book that only got 3 stars? Do I read the reviews, which often take any reason to read the book away? Is it all scammed by companies? Too much work, and I rarely get a book.

  • by Nimey (114278) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:11PM (#44105427) Homepage Journal

    I just got done with a garage sale and almost none of my (cheaply priced!) books sold, lots fewer than when I had a garage sale about five years ago.

    I'd suppose more people who actually read are transitioning to e-readers. This might also account in general for why there are fewer visitors to B&N stores.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:19PM (#44105521)

      Didn't you get the memo?

      http://i.imgur.com/az9FCjh.jpg

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:27PM (#44105647)

        Didn't you get the memo?

        http://i.imgur.com/az9FCjh.jpg

        Funny and not goatse.

    • Yep
      Last paper book I tried to read was game of thrones, six months ago
      Gave up around page 80 and bought the kindle version of the five book bundle

      I read on my iPad and laptop and only buy kindle versions. Amazon is like steam, lots of sales. Make a list of books and check the prices and buy for $5 when they go on sale

    • by geek (5680) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:27PM (#44105641) Homepage

      Yes people are reading paper books a LOT less. Every person I know has a Kindle or an iPad or like me and my wife, Nexus 7's. Paper books are great, don't get me wrong but when my mother in law even has an iPad for reading you know the death of paper books is on the horizon.

      I was a bitter clinger to paper books. I graduated with an English degree and love literature. Too me paper books were sacred. Now I can't stand the thought of dealing with a paper book, storing it, watching it yellow on my shelf or having to fight with the binding while trying to read and holding the cover back. My Nexus 7 is the perfect experience. I can get books from multiple retailers on a single device while sitting in bed. I have Google Books, Kindle, Nook, Kobo and many others on my device and I shop around for prices.

      Couple this with Calibre and I can manage my library any way I see fit, convert between formats and store them locally or in the cloud as I see fit.

      • Why would you use an ipad for reading books? Seems like an invitation to eyestrain to me.

        • I change the background color to cream in the daytime and black at night
          The white hurts my eyes after a while

          My mom has an iPad 4 for reading and loves it. Even with her inch thick glasses. Never complains of eye strain

        • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:59PM (#44106097) Homepage

          They eyestrain worry is overstated.

          The real problem with an iPad for books, compared to a Kindle or to a paperback novel, is that the iPad hurts a lot more when you doze off reading in bed and drop it on face.

          • by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @06:17PM (#44106363)

            They eyestrain worry is overstated.

            No. Wrong. Ebooks didn't get started because of ipads, the ipad screen is the same as a laptop screen. If it were that easy to read books on a laptop screen nobody would have needed to invent ereaders. Whether or not ipad fans like it, the simple reality is that you can't read books or even lengthy texts as easily from a luminescent monitor as from an e-ink display. Mod me down all you like, claim otherwise based on anecdote, but you didn't have people selling their book collections when laptops became common. End of story.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Zero__Kelvin (151819)
              Do you think the reason might actually be that a 7" tablet in your hand is a lot easier to manage than a laptop? Nah. You're right. That makes way too much sense.
            • by Moofie (22272) <lee AT ringofsaturn DOT com> on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @06:58PM (#44106789) Homepage

              "the simple reality is that you can't read books or even lengthy texts as easily from a luminescent monitor as from an e-ink display."

              Simply not true. I can, and do, and your wishing won't stop me.

              "but you didn't have people selling their book collections when laptops became common"

              That's a form factor thing, not a backlit screen thing.

              eink/epaper is great. I happen to prefer the flexibility of an LCD. Neither preference should get you all hot n' bothered, because it's just that: A preference. For /my/ use case, an LCD is superior. For /your/ use case, do whatever the hell you want. It'll be OK.

          • by wbr1 (2538558)

            They eyestrain worry is overstated.

            The real problem with an iPad for books, compared to a Kindle or to a paperback novel, is that the iPad hurts a lot more when you doze off reading in bed and drop it on face.

            Maybe the iPad should be iPadded.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @06:14PM (#44106327)

        I graduated with an English degree and love literature. Too me paper books were sacred.

        You can't make this stuff up, folks.

      • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @06:33PM (#44106549) Homepage

        " I graduated with an English degree and love literature. Too me paper books were sacred."

        That is just two, er .. ah .. to ... I mean too funny!

    • by godrik (1287354)

      There are multiple effects.
      First I believe people are reading less books at all.
      Then all the classics that are often mandatory for school education are commonly found for free (and legally) on the internet. That certainly hurts book stores significantly.
      Also the e-book effect bring less people in store. That probably decrease the amount of sales in "crap magazines" or other books that you only buy because you see it.
      Amazon is killing stores by making book delivery the day after for free. It happened to me t

    • by AuMatar (183847)

      I recently moved cross country. I had a choice- I could move over a thousand books, costing me hundreds of dollars. Or I could get rid of them, keep only the ones I'm most likely to reread, and rebuy the rest electronically as I want them. I picked option 2, because its more convenient- permanent access anywhere in the world. Instead of lugging books on trips, I take a Kindle. I can slip every book I own in my pocket.

      I'm worried about DRM, but the Kindle has been cracked. With that barrier gone I pr

      • by tibit (1762298)

        As time goes, I get tired of keeping the paperback bindings open. Kinda inconvenient when you want to read and scratch your wife's back. She loves when I read. She gets scratched for hours :)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It doesn't help that most of the store is devoted to all kinds of crap like toys, cards, god books, and astrology.
      How many interpretations of the bible can a person buy?
      Meanwhile the science fiction section has to share shelf space with fantasy and teen romance.
      The textbook section is almost entirely business self help books and X for dummies.
      I think they had 3 or 4 books on security related software development and half an aisle on developing for IOS.
      I understand that iphone is hot right now, and god is gr

    • by mjwx (966435)

      I just got done with a garage sale and almost none of my (cheaply priced!) books sold, lots fewer than when I had a garage sale about five years ago.

      I'd suppose more people who actually read are transitioning to e-readers. This might also account in general for why there are fewer visitors to B&N stores.

      I'm buying more books than I did 5 years ago.

      It's not lack of demand or foot traffic that's killing B&N, it's the fact I can go to thebookdepository.com (Amazon charges stupid amounts of shipping to Oz, and yes, I know TBD is owned by Amazon now... Shipping is still cheaper) search for exactly the book I want and buy it for less. In a physical book store, I have to pray they have it in stock, find it myself (because some apathetic staffer put half the Iain M Banks novels under M and the other half un

  • LOL Ballmer (Score:5, Funny)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:12PM (#44105435)

    Microsoft just invested $1 billion into B&N.

    How much longer are the shareholders going to let monkey boy run things? A lot longer I hope ;)

  • Two words (Score:3, Interesting)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:14PM (#44105457)

    'Amazon' and 'antitrust'.

    Give it time. They're so overwhelmingly dominant in online retail, that people will be calling them the Standard Oil of the 21st century, if they aren't already.

    • Re: Two words (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'd argue "book publishers" charging as much for ebooks as much as printed, bound and delivered books.
      My response to draconian pricing/behavior from MAFIAA was to stop buying. The same is happening with ebooks.

    • 'Amazon' and 'antitrust'.

      It is not illegal to dominate a sector, nor is it even illegal to have a monopoly. It is only illegal to use your dominant position to engage in anti-competitive practices. Standard Oil was notorious for this. Microsoft also used their OS dominance to muscle in and crush competitors in office applications and browsers. I haven't see Amazon doing anything like that. Their competitors are just a click away.

      • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:30PM (#44105679) Homepage Journal

        'Amazon' and 'antitrust'.

        It is not illegal to dominate a sector, nor is it even illegal to have a monopoly. It is only illegal to use your dominant position to engage in anti-competitive practices. Standard Oil was notorious for this. Microsoft also used their OS dominance to muscle in and crush competitors in office applications and browsers. I haven't see Amazon doing anything like that. Their competitors are just a click away.

        Actually, thanks to Amazon's "one-click" patent, competitors are now forced to be no less than two clicks away or they're going to get a cease-and-desist from Amazon.

        • Actually, thanks to Amazon's "one-click" patent, competitors are now forced to be no less than two clicks away or they're going to get a cease-and-desist from Amazon.

          That isnt monopoly abuse, that is just patent trolling. Either way it is still bulslhit, though.

        • by PRMan (959735)
          I already commented, but this was funny.
      • Re:Two words (Score:4, Interesting)

        by roman_mir (125474) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @06:04PM (#44106159) Homepage Journal

        You are talking about Standard Oil as if you are reciting a well learned poem. Standard Oil became as big as it did from 1969 to 1911 by finding ways to bring prices down for the end consumer from about 70 cents to about 5 cents in that time period. In that same time period, Rockefeller became one of the richest people in history, much wealthier then the pygmies of billionaires that exist today. The company was growing and increasing its business at a staggering pace and it was innovating to achieve that. Anything, from buying up forests to build their own barrels (and lowering new empty barrel costs by over 80%), to figuring out how to load and unload their products faster on the railroads, to finding ways to be more efficient in railroad delivery, to ensure that the train cars will not be riding empty and thus lowering costs of operating trains and getting discounts because of that, to building up more and more productive capacity.

        Saying that a company was a monopoly, when in fact it was broken apart because people just could not compete with its efficiencies to the point that the prices for oil products have NEVER gone down since the moment Standard Oil was broken up.... who exactly got the profits of breaking up that efficient economy of scale but the people that wanted a piece of the pie at the EXPENSE of the consumer and got the politicians to provide it to them.

        This was a disgrace then and it is a disgrace now, government is not authorised to distort the markets like that.

    • E-book monopoly (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SirGarlon (845873)
      Even on Slashdot, not enough people seem to be concerned about Amazon getting a monopoly on e-books.
      • by AuMatar (183847)

        Because at the moment, the DRM is easily broken and the file converted to pdf (or another format of your choice). When that changes, I'll be more worried.

      • Re:E-book monopoly (Score:4, Interesting)

        by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:42PM (#44105851)

        Even on Slashdot, not enough people seem to be concerned about Amazon getting a monopoly on e-books.

        Probably because Amazon don't have one. They own far less of the e-book market now than they did a couple of years ago, and B&N's share has been falling in that time.

        I sell e-books through various stores, and Apple and Kobo account for about as many sales as Amazon. B&N sells pretty much none.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Probably because Amazon don't have one. They own far less of the e-book market now than they did a couple of years ago, and B&N's share has been falling in that time.

          I sell e-books through various stores, and Apple and Kobo account for about as many sales as Amazon. B&N sells pretty much none.

          The DoJ disagrees with you. In fact, they just wrapped up the case where Apple was the ringleader of a cartel with the publishers in order to raise e-book prices.

          Of course, had Apple not done this whole monopol

      • by tukang (1209392)
        Maybe people aren't concerned about Amazon getting a monopoly on ebooks because Apple and Google are viable competitors.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:17PM (#44105495)

    The summary seems to attack B&N for trying to adapt to changing times rather than sticking their head in the sand. Even if it was ultimately futile, I don't think it was boneheaded.

    • by TJamieson (218336) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @12:15AM (#44108947)

      Not only that, the whole article is trollish. They're not "circling the drain" or anything like that; rather they saw that Nook sales sucked, ate up their profits from their standard business, and decided to kill the Nook line. Also known as "adapting to market conditions" - exactly what they should do!

  • It's a very simple, small device that does one job and does it well. I'm surprised to hear that their hardware division is struggling, although in fairness I had to buy mine from ebay since they didn't sell them outside the US. I must buy another to use for spare parts. I've actually started to get rid of all my books at this point.

    • Re:I love the Nook (Score:4, Informative)

      by Nemyst (1383049) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:53PM (#44105999) Homepage
      That's the problem, I think. B&N stupidly is restricting itself to the US, when there's millions (heck, billions) of people outside of that one bloody country. Instead of buying a Nook, I got a Kobo Glo, and that's one sale lost for B&N. Amazon sells the Kindle in more countries and it's always selling like hotcakes, but they're very slow at it. There's a huge market outside of the US, but many American companies seem not to understand that.
  • by ggraham412 (1492023) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:17PM (#44105503)

    Remember when the folks at B&N were hailed as visionary geniuses compared to the doofuses at Borders because B&N had an eReader?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Remember when the folks at B&N were hailed as visionary geniuses compared to the doofuses at Borders because B&N had an eReader?

      No.

      If Barnes and Noble want to stay in business, they need to stop selling their books at list price. They don't need to have Amazon's discounts, but how about 20% across the board?

      When I can buy a $49 O'Reilly book on Amazon for $22, there's little incentive to buy from B&N. On the other hand, a 20% discount would be enough to buy in the store - that way I get instantly and in good condition. Anyone else notice that Amazon has cheapened their shipping packaging? No more strink wrapping the book with a

  • by bitt3n (941736) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:26PM (#44105625)
    turn it into a pr0n focused device and rebrand it as "the nookie"
  • by T-Bone-T (1048702) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:27PM (#44105633)

    The last time I walked into one of their stores it seemed more like a toy store. Most of it was toys, puzzles, and games. It wasn't what I was expecting at all.

    • Agree. Their music section just duplicated what I could get at WalMart or Target for a lot less; I'm not interested in pop music. Classical content was laughable. Although some of the toys were fun, we don't have children to buy for any more. So that was just more space taken away from their primary mission of selling books. Borders offered a wider selection of books (in its prime). When we had both stores available to us, I'd go to the local B&N for browsing, and Borders (further away) when tryin

  • by Ben C. (2950903) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:29PM (#44105673)
    Why would I go into Barnes & Noble when they charge more for items in-store than they do on their website?
  • ...from every mom and pop bookshop (well, at least the ones still in business).
    • by aheath (628369) *
      I switched from a Nook to a Kobo to support my local independent bookstore. The bookstore receives a cut of every book that I buy from Kobo.
  • by david.emery (127135) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:32PM (#44105709)

    (Reston VA), In part due to contract dispute with the mall owner. But they could have moved into a nice Borders store location about 5 miles away in Sterling VA. Instead, they pointed me to their store in Tyson's Corner, which costs me $5 in tolls and puts me in the middle of a traffic mess. I felt sorry for the Reston store employees and the managers who did a good job with our local store, handing one my B&N Readers Card. I said, "Send this to Corporate. Tell them to look up how much I've spent -in this store- over the last 15 years. Tell them that 95% of that business is going to Amazon, because I will not drive to Tysons and B&N offers me no alternative."

    I really miss browsing in a paper bookstore, Amazon does not offer the same experience (their suggestions aren't as useful for me as they think they are...) The loss of B&N will be significant for consumers, I think. But I'm mostly through the 5 stages of mourning for them.

    • Ditto. I find it particularly galling that Manassas still has a B&N but that the Reston area, with higher incomes & education, has none.
    • by jandrese (485)
      Yeah, closing the Reston store--for a goddamn Container Store, who asked for the Container Store?!?--was dumb.
  • Here is the problem. Publishers jumped in with Amazon on their DRM. This meant is did not matter who made the better eBook reader, who gave the publishers a better deal, most of us were not going to have a bunch of incompatible books. So Anazon has their book reader, and software to allow us to read it on many different devices. Is there a nook app for Kindle? I don't know. But there is a Kindle app for everything else. So Amazon controls the market. And most of the time has the best price. I don't
  • by sehlat (180760) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:39PM (#44105797)

    B&N has been somewhat schizophrenic about eBooks from the beginning, trying desperately to keep up with Amazon on one hand and yet not cannibalize their precious treeware stores. As a result, they've managed to fail at both goals.

    Worse yet, they managed to buy, and then ignore, everything Fictionwise could have taught them about marketing eBooks and doing it right. I was a loyal (and VERY happy) Fictionwise customer for a decade. FW did three things that were absolutely priceless in marketing eBooks to me.

    1. FW let you request email notifications when a new book by a particular author you were interested in was available. Naturally, as soon as I got such a notification...

    B&N is still doing the old "These are the books WE want to sell you." routine with "push" emails and "new now" notices for books I couldn't care less about.

    2. FW (and Books on Board) had a shopping cart for eBooks. Fictionwise had both "buy all of these at once" and "download them all in a ZIP file." My record buy was something like 25 books in one day when one of my favorite authors had all of his stuff released (finally) to eBook format. Fewer obstacles to purchase == more purchases. You'd think an experienced retailer would figure that out.

    B&N: "Click once for each book" crud that both Amazon and B&N impose on readers. The day Paulo Coelho's books were put on sale at $1/each, I had to click "buy" and "confirm" eleven times, and when it came time to balance my credit card account... (cue loud curses)

    3. If you went to an author's page at FW (e.g. Poul Anderson), you got a "show me only books by this author I don't own" and "buy everything that's showing" buttons. See my note about "fewer obstacles" above.

    B&N: MISSING IN ACTION

    4. FW frequently offered the ability to buy eBooks at listed price and get an equal amount in store credit. Result: I frequently took advantage of the offer, got best-sellers at full list, and then used the credits to buy more eBooks. From my standpoint, I got the best-sellers for free, and then used the credits to "buy out" other authors I wanted everything they did.

    B&N: MISSING IN ACTION

    It is a shame that B&N bought the major ebook retailer who knew how to do it right and then ignored everything they had done in order to cripple their eBook store as a doomed effort to force people to walk into their bricks-and-mortar.

    Think of it as evolution in action.

    • by game kid (805301)

      I was a loyal (and VERY happy) Fictionwise customer for a decade. FW did three things that were absolutely priceless in marketing eBooks to me.

      ...and that's why B&N decided to "fix" that.

  • Bookstores are dead, and I include in that Amazon's book business. I used to shop regularly at Walden's, B. Dalton's, and all them, pop in once every 2 or 3 weeks. Now I hardly ever visit. These days, I'd rather participate in a discussion such as these on Slashdot, than passively read a book.

    When I do want to read a book, I much prefer to get it through a public library, rather than participate any further in this overly commercialized private bookstore and publishing business. Our public libraries should go digital, and I see the private bookstore as one of the obstacles to that. The digital public library would save us a great deal of money and give us far, far more access to published works than we now enjoy, but these scumbags in the private book sales industry have done all they could to delay and derail it. That being the case, the death of the private bookstore is reason to celebrate.

  • by AnalogDiehard (199128) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:41PM (#44105847)
    It's not so much that reading habits are shifting from paper to digital as it is the limited tablet computer market. Apple iPad has a strong foothold in the tablet market. Few people want another tablet to carry around not to mention one that is focused on eReading and not much else.
  • There seems to be a preoccupation in the article description with the idea of having a national bookseller. I'm not sure we actually need one. Personally, I get pretty much all my books either online or from local used bookstores. Even online, I lean towards the used market unless the new copies are (after shipping on the used, since new is usually free shipping) about the same price or less.

    There's a kind of irony to the fact that the book superstores are all losing the fight while the local used shops

  • let it be yourself. -- Steve Jobs.

    B&N apparently assumed that Profit! would automatically appear. Jobs didn't.

    • by PRMan (959735)
      He stole that from David Packard of HP. Back in the LaserJet/InkJet days, his motto was to "put ourselves out of business every 6 months". And back then, they usually succeeded.
  • My last book i bought came from a charity shop as nobody sold it in my region in europe not even the independent book shops. The amazon version on e-reader would have cost me $100 dollars with device, it was cheaper to import the book from a foriegn location. Also as i like to use my lending library that all those elected people love closing down and so i am not buying into e-books. I do have some pdfs with my name and address in as well compliments of the publisher and are horrid to navigate.

    I read a lo

  • I won't shop in a Barnes & Noble or a Booksamillion anymore because of the constant upselling at the register. If I say no thanks, and I'm not interested even ONCE, I don't need to hear the 60 second speech they have memorized.

  • Isn't that what all the MBA's are trying to achieve these days?

  • I went into the B&N here a few months back. Walked right back to where the computer section has been for years only to find it gone. I looked all over and ended up having to ask some employee. Once found, they didn't even have any HTML5 programming books. The whole computer section was 1/3 the size it use to be. I left thinking, "This place sucks now."

  • Just a matter of time before brick and mortar stores get recycled into anti-skid brick sidewalks in upscale malls.

  • The main reason I quit shopping at B&N? Because their in-store stock SUCKS. The whole reason I shop at B&N is because *I want it now*. In many instances I've even been willing to pay a slightly higher store price for that. Almost without fail, even popular books and DVDs/Blu-Rays are not in stock in any store in the Indianapolis area. Its just as bad at the Bloomington store, which you think would be a bit better stocked because its a college town. And considering that the closest B&N to me is a

  • The Denver compputer book store SoftPro ended its storefront this year. The Stanford University bookstore dropped nearly all its wonderful technical books (e.g. Dover series) and just kept textbooks and popular reading books. The old space is filled with souveniers and brand clothing. That parallels what most other universities have down. I miss browsing through the print version of books.
  • by HeckRuler (1369601) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @06:28PM (#44106485)

    You all know there's a used bookstore in your town. Go give them some business.

    I grew up in Omaha. Downtown there was a used bookstore with more character than was probably healthy. It had more books then it knew what to to do with, a healthy set of extraneous stairs, an honor system for coffee, and a set of couches in front with a constant crowd. I think the regulars manned the register when the workers were busy.

    But it didn't make too much money and they couldn't make rent. They tried selling records in the basement and some sort of art gallary on the upper levels, but that didn't pan out. So it closed up. And Omaha lost something important that day.

    Now, apparently, a small town about 20 minutes gained something eventually, because the owner bought a building, moved his books there, and is still doing business. I'll have to find out if it has the same magic.

    But anyway, just a reminder to support your local church of the literate.

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