Tag Archives: Amazon

Books on Fire

So guess what? I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I know, who didn’t, right? (Just kidding, I’m sure a lot of people didn’t.) The immediate benefits I’ve seen from this little bad boy is my ability to read my current read, Infinite Jest, anywhere. That includes on the bus, with my piles of scarves and gloves and hats (yes, multiple hats). Trust me, I’m a big fan of physical books, the weight, the smell, the physicalness of them. I’m no stranger to the romance of pages crispy from a coffee accident, of the sweet anticipation that builds as the stack of pages in your right hand wanes and the stack in your left hand waxes. But romance aside, there is not always a big cozy chair with a piping hot cup of coffee and a free afternoon available to me. And for those times, I can still save face with my book group by saying, yeah, I’ve finally caught up to our page count.

I’ve also been struggling recently with the ever-growing stack of unread New Yorkers on my bookshelf, and I think subscribing to magazines on the Fire will help with that guilt. I renewed my subscription to Poets & Writers on the Kindle, which means I won’t have to worry about ensuring I get my money’s worth when I move apartments this fall. I don’t have anything to say on the specs of the thing, but I will say that for someone with some pretty strong ties to books, I’m pretty satisfied. Don’t worry, I have a sweater that proves I love books.

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What does Borders bankruptcy mean for the book?

By Melanie Yarbrough

I love new Twitter followers, particularly non-spammy ones who have connected with me for the things we have in common. Today Josh Cook, or InOrderofImport started following me. Upon browsing his blog, In Order of Importance, I stumbled upon this little gem of a thought on the recent Borders bankruptcy:

Like pretty much everything else, the bankruptcy of Borders isn’t just one thing; its recent changes in technology, long term shifts in American culture, and the particular decisions made by Borders. Prices at Amazon. Supermarkets selling Harry Potters at next to nothing. Erosion of book coverage in the media. Hopefully something positive will come from the Borders bankruptcy. Maybe publishers will become more assertive against Amazon. Maybe more book buyers will shop at indie bookstores. Maybe the book as objects sold in bookstores will continue to diminish and eventually be replaced by something else. It is far too early to tell, but as with all news making events, the Borders bankruptcy gives a chance to ask big questions. The question here: how important are books to society? And, since we’re asking: what are you willing to pay to make sure there are books around for your grandchildren.

Head over to Josh’s blog on food, sports, politics, and books for more of his insight into Borders bankruptcy then share your own.

What discoveries have you made this week?

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Why Google and Amazon Don’t Change a Thing

By Shane Solar-Doherty

In the early 90s, Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores were popping up everywhere. I was young, so I don’t really know what it was like to see that happening. But there must have been a lot of people who said to their friends at dinner parties and such, There’s no way you’ll ever catch me step foot in one of those stores. And they stayed loyal to the owner of the bookstore down the street who had character and a unique business model. Occasionally they would travel away from home and, for lack of other options, they’d go into a chain store and perhaps purchase a book to read on the flight back home, promising over and over to themselves that for every book purchased at a chain store, they’d purchase ten at their local indie. And they would follow through on that. Not a mile away from where they lived there would be a Barnes & Noble or a Borders, where the selection was bigger and the prices a little cheaper, but they would not stray. It became second nature, and they passed it on.

Readers like the ones I’m describing understand this one simple concept: no matter where you buy the book from, the content within the book will not change; your purchase, however, will have an impact on the business that you’re buying it from and the people who run the business.

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