This morning’s New York Times has sort of a scattered article on the prospects of a post-bookstore environment for readers and publishers. Just as indie book stores were decimated by the chain stores, so now chain stores have largely fallen to online retailers, by which of course we mean Amazon. Did you know that Amazon.com is valued at $88 billion? I didn’t. By comparison, press.uillinois.edu is worth $39,137.
Barnes & Noble is the last of the chain stores, and it seems to be a toss up whether it too will go out of business or mutate into some sort of book-less Internet cafe thing. Meanwhile, Amazon has cast its gaze on a new object of interest: the publishers themselves, what CEO Jeff Bezos refers to as the middleman in the book selling business. Shiver.