Barnes & Noble announced today that it may consider selling itself in order to raise more money to compete in the world of digital books. The bookstore is also gearing up for a big push for its ebook reader -- The Nook.
The digital book market has been fiercely competitive lately. Amazon announced recently that for the first time sales of ebooks on its website have outpaced hardcovers.
With the very popular iPad taking a bite out of the ebook reader market, Amazon decided to lower its price on the Kindle. (Making it the same price as The Nook.) I know one book lovers who jumped online to order one of the devices, only to quickly discover that the Kindle was on backorder -- up to two weeks. The delay did little to dampen the anticipation of the arrival of the Kindle -- it only seemed to heighten the desire.
And so how is all this book business going to shake out?
It's hard to say. Much like the music business, the book business is in the middle of a remarkable transition as the method of book distribution goes through a radical change.
I don't want to imagine a world where there aren't any bookstores. Or books. I love the feel of a paperback book in my hand when I'm riding on a train or sitting in a restaurant alone. But I also love my Kindle.
There's only one thing I know that won't change. There will always be a need for stories and the people who know how to craft them.