If you’re reading this, you’re probably at least tangentially aware of what happens among readers, writers, publishers, and booksellers when someone says the word “Amazon.”
People get emotional. Of course, Amazon’s Kindle has revolutionized the booming e-book market over the past few years, and you can obsessively check your sales against that crappy no-good Billy Collins any time you want, but now there’s also this new mobile app that allows would-be patrons to scan a book on the shelf of their local retailer to check its price against Amazon’s offering.
The biggest news in book retailing so far this year may be Borders’ opening its first “concept store,” a new generation of superstores unveiled in February in the company’s hometown of Ann Arbor, Mich. At 28,900 square feet, the new store—the first of 14 planned to open this year—does not skimp on size, and a lot of that space is taken up by innovative features: shop-within-a-shop “destination zones” for travel, cooking, wellness, graphic novels and children’s categories; bold, new architectural designs; and a “digital center” offering services ranging from book downloading to self-publishing. “Our mission is to be a headquarters for knowledge