Thank you so much for this article, Nicolas, even though it almost breaks my heart.
The Passive Guy recently shared a post by Jane Friedman on the future of Barnes & Noble; a topic you may remember from my earlier post, “How Amazon Destroyed Barnes & Noble.”
Quite frankly, Jane’s post made me sad. The latest chairman, James Daunt, is credited with saving UK’s famous bookstore, Waterstons. However, all you got to do is read the following quotes to understand that he really doesn’t get B&N – or books.
Early on, when Daunt was asked what he thought of Barnes & Noble on his last store visit, he said, “There were too many books,” by which he meant that featuring the right inventory is more important that stocking a big blur of titles. Back in 2015, he commented to Slate, “My faculties just shut down when I go in there.”
So… the big problem with a bookstore is that it has too many books.
And this gem:
Daunt loves the physical book, but he wants to give customers a digital option to get them into reading as an entry to physical books.
An entry. To physical books. Like, kids use digital books but us, highbrow grownups, know better. “Thank you, Amazon, B&N will stick to our guns and our lovely paper. No need for this new fandangled way of doing things.”
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