So Barnes & Noble is in the news now. They are considering spinning off the Nook (digital book reader). They think this will help them on the stock market.
Why do they need help? They've been closing stores with little national press attention. For example:
Prescott eNews -
Barnes & Noble has closed. What's a reader to do? The sign on the door says, "We're Closed. Please visit us at Happy Valley 623-780-3300 [or] Flagstaff 928-226-8227.
It may have been a huge chain bookstore, but the Barnes & Noble on the corner of Jefferson and M Streets NW in Georgetown was long a favorite stop for residents and shoppers looking to flip through a magazine or peruse three floors worth of books.
If you missed it, we already lost Borders Books.
Now the country may see the demise of Barnes & Noble.
These are not good signs. These are not good signs for the economy, they are not good signs for the country.
Some will insist, "You can buy on Amazon!"
Yes, you can.
If you have a computer, you certainly can.
And if you have a credit card.
So if you're in that situation, you certainly can.
But what if you're a 14-year-old?
And your mother raises you and your two siblings.
There's no saving your own money to go to the bookstore and grab a book.
I used to do that in high school. I'd skip lunch (just drink a Dr. Pepper) and save my cash. I'd spend it on make up and vinyl records (those were the medium in my day).
And I think about kids today and how the world changing brings good for some but not all.
And I think about people -- adults -- with bad credit who might not be able to get a credit card and can't get a checking account (yes, there are people who can't get checking accounts).
A lot of people will be left out if we lose our physical bookstores.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday: