From: Claudia Holland <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2014 17:11:49 +0000
But, Joe, what is it that you miss about bookstores, if you don¹t miss
On 12/1/14, 7:13 PM, "LIBLICENSE" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>From: Joseph Esposito <[log in to unmask]>
>Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2014 11:54:50 -0500
>I read this post just prior to boarding a flight from Los Angeles to
>New York. By my estimate well over half the passengers were watching
>a movie or sports event on the seat-back video display. So in
>addition to the question of print vs. digital books, we have the
>competition with other media. My view is that consumer publishing,
>insofar as it is a species of entertainment, will be seriously
>challenged by the many new media alternatives. In this respect, Apple
>is a bigger threat than Amazon.
>As for shelf space at Barnes & Noble, this is much discussed in trade
>book circles. We had an unsustainable high point for book shelf space
>in the 1990s (the increased shelf space for superstores did not
>materially improve sales in the aggregate, so the cost of the retail
>operations inevitably would make the model collapse, even without the
>introduction of ebooks). A B&N store at that time with 150,000 titles
>was not 100% books (calendars, toys, cards, etc. were always part of
>the mix), but there is no doubt that calling B&N a bookstore now seems
>almost fraudulent. Interestingly, other stores have now begun to sell
>books (e.g., Anthropologie). So is the shelf space growing or
>What is clear, though, is that it is shrinking for intellectually
>serious books. A clothing boutique may carry books, but probably not
>those that the members of this list consider relevant.
>In about 1995 I saw the entire Loeb Classical Library in a Borders on
>Michigan Avenue in Chicago. I knew that was simply marketing, an
>attempt to make the store seem more serious than it was, to add "tone"
>to the off-price books in the front of the store.
>The book business is a small one. It will persist, but over time it
>will likely return to its core constituency of serious readers, most
>of whom will find their book online. I don't miss print books myself,
>but I do miss bookstores.
>On Sun, Nov 30, 2014 at 4:49 PM, LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> From: "Jim O'Donnell" <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2014 16:11:05 -0500
>> Back to my old haunts, here's today's report on the progress of
>> There were about 250 people on the train, quite full for Thanksgiving.
>> I should have said years ago doing this that I always measure between
>> Metropark and Philadelphia.
>> 114 people were engaged with electronic devices -- laptops, tablets,
>> readers, smartphones. I can't count on three hands at once, so I'm
>> only approximating when I say that 30-50% of the devices in use were
>> 37 people were engaged with paper materials of some kind or other, of
>> whom 17 were holding actual paper codex books. (Other paper:
>> newspaper, magazines, school notebooks). One of them was the first
>> person I have ever seen after many years of looking to be reading a
>> volume of Greek literature with the Greek text visible -- a Loeb
>> Classical Library volume of Aelian, a minor figure and distinctly an
>> advanced taste. (A few weeks ago I did see a gentleman of mature
>> years, who proved on investigation to be a person of mature wealth and
>> family lineage, reviewing the basics of ancient Greek in the classic
>> textbook of Chase and Phillips, which he first used in prep school
>> about 60 years ago. Reading Aelian is a large step beyond that:
>> enjoyable, without a question, inasmuch as his works are compilations
>> of anecdotes and lore of quite dubious value.)
>> I was, um, er, watching an Inspector Montalbano video on my iPad . . .
>> Jim O'Donnell