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NYT Imagines a World Without Barnes & Noble

In a long article about the future of Barnes & Noble, New York Times reporter Julie Bosman wrote a gloomy passage imagining a world without the chain bookstore.

Here’s an excerpt: “Certainly, there would be fewer places to sell books. Independents account for less than 10 percent of business, and Target, Walmart and the like carry far smaller selections than traditional bookstores. Without Barnes & Noble, the publishers’ marketing proposition crumbles. The idea that publishers can spot, mold and publicize new talent, then get someone to buy books at prices that actually makes economic sense, suddenly seems a reach. Marketing books via Twitter, and relying on reviews, advertising and perhaps an appearance on the Today show doesn’t sound like a winning plan.”

What do you think–could the publishing industry survive without Barnes & Noble? The article included a staggering comparison between the stock prices of the leading booksellers: Barnes & Noble was valued at $719 million and Amazon was valued at $88 billion.

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