Today on the way to NYU, I crossed 6th Avenue at 8th Street and noticed the B&N there had closed for good. Not a huge deal — it wasn’t all that appealing a store — but not that long ago Meg Ryan was fighting a losing battle against “books and legal addictive stimulants” when the B&N look-alike moved into the UWS and mowed down everything in its path. (Everything but Cafe Lalo, that is.) Less than 20 years later, are we now facing the end of B&N? Are publishers right behind? Books themselves?
What would you do if you were in the bookselling business? The publishing business? Who benefits from the changing landscape? Is this good for the economy or bad? For civilization? For full credit, please include data and show all of your work. And ask yourself: What would John Asker do?