In the mid-1990s, when Amazon emerged as an online bookseller, publishers welcomed the company as a “savior” that could provide an alternative to the stifling market power of that era’s dominant chain stores, Barnes & Noble and Borders. Book publishers with exceptional foresight may have understood that they “had to view Amazon as both an empowering retail partner and a dangerous competitor,” as Brad Stone puts it in The Everything Store, his deeply reported, fiercely independent-minded account of Amazon’s rise.
Report says publishers under heavy pressure to make damaging concessions including giving online retailer rights to print on demand
IN the fall of 1965, I arrived in New York City, flush with somebody else’s oil money, to purchase books for a bookshop I was managing in Houston. The shop was called the Bookman and had several eccentric features: Our safe was the boll of a Louisiana gum tree; there was a room full of rare tobaccos, though smoking was forbidden; and there was even a young Asian man to serve sherry to such bewildered hicks as straggled in from time to time.
A little sign outside says, “Welcome to the Most Beautiful Bookshop in the World”. It just might be. Step inside and find a full-sized gondola smack in the middle of the shop, overflowing with books. Head to the back and take a seat in front of the open doors; the canal at your feet, water gently splashing against the doorstep as you flick through a book.