News and Views: Barnes and Noble

I was bite by the “I’m too busy” bug the last couple of weeks and haven’t had time to put up a News and Views article, but hopefully you’ll all forgive me as I attempt to get back into the swing of things.

This week, let’s turn our eyes to Barnes & Noble and the companies ongoing struggle to avoid the fate of Borders Books. After the departure of former CEO William Lynch in June, B&N basically decided not to go through with any of the agenda he had spearheaded. This meant an about face on the plan to outsource the production of the Nook Tablet or split the Nook business from the brick and mortar bookstore business creating two separate companies. Unfortunately, B&N lost $87 million dollars last quarter, and investors seem unwilling to continue on the Barnes & Noble rollercoaster as the stock price has lost about 20% in the last week.

The problems with the bookseller are myriad. The lack of consistent leadership in recent years has been troubling as Barnes & Noble stumbles its way into the future of bookselling. Barnes & Noble has mishandled the Nook line in the past and is suffering for it now. They’ve also apparently committed themselves to a course which involves continuing to suffer for decisions of the past. The bookstores themselves continue to chug along, although the chain is much dimensioned with fewer and fewer physical locations.

But what do you think? Is Barnes & Noble doomed to irrelevance from past problems? Or will the company be able to rebound and build back the empire it once possessed?


Microbiology graduate student, book blogger, science blogger, and sometimes fiction writer.

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Posted in Non-Fiction, Publishing
3 comments on “News and Views: Barnes and Noble
  1. misskzebra says:

    I think the unfortunate truth is that all bookstores are going to struggle. Eventually books may end up in the same place as music. We have quite a romantic view of paper books, but the generation that grew up iPads may feel differently. It might take less time than we expect for digital books to be more of a norm.

  2. eranamage says:

    I don’t think paper books will disappear, there will always be some who prefer them but I think unless bookshops adapt they may vanish. Personally I tend to buy online, unless I happen to be in town, which isn’t often. E-books tend to be cheaper, take up less space and can be deleted if they don’t suit. Of course it is harder to pass them on and there is something nice about a paperback. It would be a shame if Barnes and Noble vanish, although as a Brit we only have the online store anyway.

  3. eranamage says:

    Reblogged this on Library of Erana and commented:
    Is Barnes and Noble really in the midden? It is true book shops are in decline as people buy online or buy e-books but is that the reason. In a world of trembling economies it may be a case of adapt or die.

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