Bookstores

Ballard bookstore and gallery embraces ebooks

18 April 2014

From the Ballard News Tribune:

How do you like to read a book? Many readers have dumped the print for digital media reading devices like Kindle. Other’s cling to their age scented pages like a crucifix.

Amazon has had an influential role in changing the way we read, and with the way we read, publishing has changed too. More and more authors side step the traditional publishing house by contracting out all the work that goes into designing and editing a book to freelancers. With the change, new ways to sell books are emerging across the country and right here in Ballard.

Michael Matewauk is founder and curator of Factory vs. Academy (FA), a gallery and bookstore in a basement studio at 2220 N.W. Market Street. FA is part of this month’s Ballard Art walk. He launched FA in 2013, but this is his first showing. Every three months he plans to pair photography or paintings that lend to the featured indie writers’ books. Matewauk plans to expand the genre he features but right now is focusing on creative non-fiction. His current exhibit is called, “Thank you Bezos! A Self Publishers’ First Supper,” and features eleven books.
Along with the books, there is a large mural inspired by “The Last Supper,” by Leonardo da Vinci. Matewauk recruited Seattle mural artist, Andrew Morrison, to paint the walls of his gallery. Morrison painted the Native American heritage mural at Wilson-Pacific campus.

. . . .

“I don’t know where I got the idea to do this but I think it’s basically because Bezos sounds close to Jesus. I was thinking he’s a savior for a lot of writers by having readers buy their work online rather than going through the traditional publishing industry. I thought, ‘what would it be like to have him at the head of the table and have indie authors as the apostles?’ The mural shows that it’s a new idea – a new way to put a book out into the market place,” said Matewauk.

Link to the rest at Ballard News Tribune and thanks to Michael for the tip.

Barnes & Noble Prospects Questioned After Riggio Pares Stake

17 April 2014

From The Wall Street Journal:

The Barnes & Noble Inc. chairman and biggest shareholder Leonard Riggio sold nearly a quarter of his stake in the retailer for $64 million, he disclosed on Thursday, fueling questions about the retailer’s prospects.

It is the second time in five months Mr. Riggio has sold shares, after a 12-year period in which he bought shares but didn’t sell. The sales have cut his stake to 20% from 30% last year.

Barnes & Noble shares fell 12% to $16.37 on Thursday.

. . . .

In an interview, Mr. Riggio, 73 years old, said the book business is in a period of transformation. Sales of physical books are decreasing as many of the country’s biggest readers shift to e-books. Mr. Riggio noted however that the growth of e-book sales has leveled off over the past year, and said that many of the tablets and e-readers being purchased now are replacements for older devices.

. . . .

“The timing for an executive [selling shares] is never good,” said Mr. Riggio. He added he intends to be a “big owner for a long time” and doesn’t plan to sell more this year. However, he added, “I can’t go beyond that. I can’t limit my options.”

. . . .

Mr. Riggio reported in a federal filing that he sold 3.7 million shares in a private block trade at $17.30 a share on April 16. Mr. Riggio said he lost money on the sale, as he had paid about $25 a share for the stock.

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire) and thanks to Joshua for the tip.

5 Reasons Why Indie Bookstores Are Perfect Models for American Small Businesses

16 April 2014

From Flavorwire:

I don’t recall exactly which sky-is-falling installment of the 2008 economic meltdown was in the news on a day.

. . . .

Fearing the market-inflicted doom, all I could do was go to a reading in a Brooklyn bookstore and drink the free wine there. The plan to get drunk and not think about my future worked until I was about three or four cups in, when I started wondering how the beloved indie bookstore I was standing in expected to survive when pretty much everything else looked like it was going to hell.

Five years later, the bookstore is still going strong, and they’ve even expanded into another neighborhood with a second location. While I’ve watched restaurants, bars, coffee shops, clothing boutiques, grocery stores, and nearly every other type of independent business close their doors as a result of the financial crisis, that indie bookstore, and others, are still going. Not only are they still going, but they’ve outlasted their original biggest threat, chain stores like Borders (closed) and Barnes & Noble (future uncertain), and many are thriving even as Amazon tries to tighten its grip around the publishing industry.

. . . .

There’s no secret recipe, but any young entrepreneur looking to start their own business should consider walking to their local bookstore to see how it gets the following things right:

1. Like snowflakes, no two indie bookstores are alike 

I’ve been to dozens of bookstores all over the country, and the one thing that strikes me is that every single one of them has it own, individual feel.

. . . .

2. The secret ingredient is love

The explanation for #2 is simple: people don’t open bookstores because they think they’re going to strike it rich slinging paperbacks; they do it because they genuinely love it.

. . . .

5. Indie booksellers empower their employees

I’m not saying they offer a career path with fringe benefits and a retirement program, but I’ve known the people behind the registers at some stores for years. In a place like New York City, where new faces come in and out of your life every hour, that says something. It says that the owners push their employees to take pride in their identity as booksellers.

Link to the rest at Flavorwire

The Death of Rizzoli

16 April 2014

From the Page-Turner blog at The New Yorker:

On Friday night, I met up with several friends on Fifty-seventh Street, for Rizzoli Bookstore’s final hour of business. All of us were onetime employees of the store, drawn together to commemorate the imminent demolition of that building, a landmark from our youths. It had been some time since I had gone to a bookstore funeral, but in the nineteen-nineties I was a morbidly regular attendee at going-out-of-business sales for numerous storied Manhattan bookshops. Part wake, part bargain hunt, and part keepsake quest, those events were like estate sales for beloved but distantly related cousins; the atmosphere was a distinctive combination of guilty discovery and mournful nostalgia.

From those necrobibliophilic clearances, I had gathered a small cache of memorable volumes. At Endicott, which closed in July of 1995, I turned up two early collections of poetry by Ciaran Carson, “The Irish for No” and “Belfast Confetti.” A year later, I delved among the mortal remains of Shakespeare & Company’s Upper West Side store, briefly considering buying one of the bookcases (all of which were for sale) before settling on a hardcover copy of John Demos’s “The Unredeemed Captive.” In 1997, at Books & Co., I purchased a copy of Wendy Cope’s “Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis,” which is, to this day, my favorite book of light verse.

. . . .

There had been a last-ditch petition to obtain landmark status for the building at 31 West Fifty-seventh Street, but the Landmarks Preservation Commission had ruled that, while the building dated to 1919, the baroque interior, installed in 1985, when Rizzoli moved there from its Fifth Avenue location, was not old enough to warrant landmark status. Earlier on Friday, there had been a demonstration to protest the store’s closing. In an eloquent gesture, the Rizzoli staff had placed a photograph of the old Penn Station in the display window, along with a quote from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis:

Is it not cruel to let our city die by degree, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?

. . . .

I had hoped to be there when they locked the door for the final time, but at seven-thirty, the normal closing hour, there was still a line of more than twenty people waiting to buy their bargains and their keepsakes. Dozens more customers were still browsing the aisles. My former colleagues and I made our way out the front door, where scaffolding was already in place for the coming destruction. We posed for photographs, watched other customers get interviewed by local television news reporters, and decided that it was high time for a drink.

Link to the rest at The New Yorker

Three Booksellers on the Bookshop of the Future

15 April 2014

From Shelf Awareness:

At the London Book Fair last week, three booksellers–Steve Bercu, owner of BookPeople in Austin, Tex., and president of the American Booksellers Association; Sion Hamilton, retail operations director of Foyles in London; and Hiroshi Sogo, the managing director of AsianBasis Corporation, a subsidiary of the Japanese bookstore chain Books Kinokuniya–discussed how their stores have adapted to the sea changes of the past several years and what they plan going forward.

. . . .

In the process of designing the [new] store, Hamilton and others at Foyles took the opportunity to “completely question” the natures of both bookselling and their organization. Foyles sought the opinions of everyone from customers and members of the general public to industry experts, retailers in other industries and its own frontline booksellers while deciding on a vision for a “bookshop of the 21st century.” In February 2013, in fact, the store co-hosted a conference on just that topic; the event drew an international crowd of writers, publishers, librarians, booksellers and developers.

“At our workshop last year, someone demanded a Yo! Sushi-type conveyor belt of books,” recalled Hamilton, referring to an English chain of sushi restaurants that features plates of sushi on conveyor belts. After realizing that bringing conveyor belts into the bookshop wouldn’t work, Hamilton thought to invert the idea by displaying books along the store’s stairways. “We devised a slot that we cut into the side of the atrium, and we have lecterns that sit at each landing. You can see all those lovely books as you walk up.”

The flagship store will have six floors and contain, in addition to bookselling space, a cafe, gallery and atrium. Those three spaces, Hamilton related, can “interact, inform and be informed by the bookshop.” The shop’s various rooms, he went on, are meant to draw customers through a series of inviting spaces, and through their browsing, customers will be encouraged to discover new writers and break from their usual book-buying habits. And customers, he added, should “revel” in the experience of being surrounded by voices.

. . . .

“No one has to come to our store to buy a book,” said Bercu, who stressed the importance of crafting a great experience for customers. This experience, in whatever form it may take, has to be so compelling that it beats out not only “every conceivable form of entertainment” but also the convenience of lying in bed and shopping on a phone or lap. “I don’t know if we’re the future, I don’t know what we are exactly, but we have a lot of fun doing it.”

BookPeople’s motto is “a community bound by books,” and that determines everything that Bercu and his staff do. In addition to selling books, of course, they run book fairs and festivals (some as far afield as Boston, Mass., and Philadelphia, Pa.), host author events, birthday parties and book clubs, and even have two literary summer camps.

. . . .

When asked about his store’s ubiquitous branding, Bercu said that he no longer views other bookshops as competitors. “We’re not interested with branding in regard to bookshops anymore. Frankly we don’t care about Barnes & Noble anymore; we look at them as cousins now as opposed to enemies… We want to be a focal point for the community. That’s what we’re working in.”

. . . .

Sogo also discussed the necessity of running events and creating interesting, engaging displays. One such display, which came from the conversations of a few young staff members in Japan, involved covering 100 books with special paper so that customers could not see the title or the author, and writing the book’s opening line or lines on that paper (Kinokuniya sought the permission of each book’s publisher beforehand). The display was up for 60 days, and Sogo reported that the sales were phenomenal. Customers found it fascinating, and it even drew media attention and TV crews.

Link to the rest at Shelf Awareness (you’ll have to cursor down a ways to find the article)

Bookstores in Seattle Soar, and Embrace an Old Nemesis: Amazon.com

14 April 2014

From The New York Times:

A love of books and bookstores runs deep in the sinews of this city, where gray skies and drizzle can drive a person to drink, or read, or both. A long-running annual survey ranks Seattle the country’s second-most literate big city, behind Washington, D.C., as measured by things like the number of bookstores, library resources, newspaper circulation and education.

Amazon.com Inc. also calls Seattle home. And in recent years, as many small independent bookstores here and around the nation struggled or closed their doors, owners often placed blame for their plight on the giant online retailer’s success in delivering best sellers at discount prices, e-readers and other commodities of the digital marketplace.

“They seem to be after everyone and everything,” one Seattle-area bookstore owner, Roger Page, fulminated on his store’s blog last year. He added, “I believe there is a real chance that they will ruin the publishing world.”

But now there are signs of a thaw in those tensions, at least here in the city that most embodied them. As Amazon has exploded with growth, hiring thousands of tech workers at its downtown headquarters and helping bolster the Seattle economy, local bookstore owners have seen a surprising new side of the company they loved to hate: Many Amazon employees, it turns out, are readers who are not shopping at the company store.

. . . .

Whether it is Amazon or something else, the broader pattern is unmistakable, said Oren J. Teicher, the chief executive of the American Booksellers Association, a national bookstore trade group. “Seattle has become one of the most successful independent bookstore cities in the country,” he said.

Tom Nissley, 46, a writer and former Amazon employee with 10 years at the company who lives with his family in northern Seattle, embodies this odd new détente. In his old life, he was a senior editor, helping Amazon promote and choose featured book titles for its website. Then, in 2010, he won enough money on the television quiz show “Jeopardy!” — about $235,000 as an eight-game champion — to quit his day job and write full time, publishing last fall a compendium of literary history and trivia, called “A Reader’s Book of Days.”

Last month, Mr. Nissley’s bookish-in-Seattle tale came full circle when he signed a contract to buy and run his own small independent bookstore.

. . . .

Part of Mr. Nissley’s optimism is that he believes local shops have increasingly found their feet in how to avoid competition with Amazon, or other giant retailers, by offering services or products that only a local can provide. He plans to offer, in addition to books, a line of paper goods, toys and vinyl handbags made by the business that his wife, Laura Silverstein, started.

He is also convinced, he said, that the e-book revolution, which seemed ready a few years ago to sweep away the old world of pages and print, has reached a plateau. Publishers, wanting to keep independent bookstores alive, have also helped — easing traditional repayment rules for books, or helping with promotions or advertising.

Link to the rest at The New York Times and thanks to Mike and many others for the tip.

Value Propositions

13 April 2014

From author Dan Meadows at The Watershed Chronicle:

Here’s the thing, we can all talk until we’re blue in face about ebooks, bookstores, publishers, writers, et al (a point some would say we already reached sometime in early 2012) but none of it means a damn thing. The only thing that matters is the value proposition offered to us and how that informs the choices people make. Everything else is bluster. Worse yet, it’s meaningless bluster that far too frequently merges with wish fulfillment of the person doing the blustering. “Ebooks are dying.” “Bookstores are crucial to the future.” “Writers need publishers to be the best they can be.”

. . . .

Twenty five years ago, if I wanted a new book, I had a few choices. There was the library (a brick and mortar bookstore that’s basically free for readers), used bookstores (brick and mortar store that’s cheap but whose offerings are dependent on readers getting rid of their old books), rotating racks of best sellers in retail stores (having little to do with book discovery and everything to do with pushing already known entities to impulse buyers) or bookstores themselves (who offered the best selection and knowledge about books available at the time).

In that environment, the value proposition to readers was on the side of bookstores. The time, effort and extra money necessary to patronize a bookstore was a fair trade off for what we got in return; a wider selection of books to choose from. Today, however, that value has flipped on them. Bookstores, with their real world physical constraints, inherently offer a limited selection of books. Online, however, has no such trouble. Online, you can find and buy every book. All of them. So now, bookstores have gone from having the best selection of books available to having a limited subsection of books.

. . . .

With ebooks, online print book sales and rapidly approaching explosion of print on demand technology, the value proposition to readers of frequenting bookstores is a problem. When they had the best selection and a knowledgeable staff that wasn’t easily reproducible, we thought nothing of the outlay in time and effort to shop there. We didn’t mind paying a few extra dollars on the price of a book to support their infrastructure when they provided a service that we valued. Today, though, shopping at physical bookstores requires readers to sacrifice. We need to give up our time and effort to get there, then pay those extra few dollars for the privilege of shopping in a limited pool of material. We need to choose to give up value available to us in order to use bookstores.

. . . .

When the value proposition changes from one where I pay out because you bring me value to one where I pay out to bring you value, that’s not going to end well for you. You can discuss bookstores’ place in literary history and culture all day long, it doesn’t change the simple fact that the value you once earned your coin with simply ain’t what it used to be.

This applies to the publisher/writer dynamic as well. Twenty five years ago, if I wanted to be a published writer, I had to go through the slow slog of querying agents, editors or whomever, piling up rejection after rejection until I get lucky enough to be offered a contract that paid me pennies on the dollar from the revenue my work generated. Not only did writers accept this, we fetishized it to the point where there are still writers who have inexplicably fond memories of taping rejection letters to their bulletin boards. The fact was, if I wanted to be published, that’s what I had to do. The value proposition of going through that crucible was worth it because it was the only way to reach the goals we wanted.

. . . .

Publishers and bookstores carefully crafted the value they brought over decades, some would say centuries. It does seem a bit unfair to people who have dedicated their lives to those ends to see that value knee-capped in less than 10 years. But that’s life. Sometimes, the things we value are life-long, sometimes they only last a matter of days or weeks. The thing is, you can never really tell when that value is going to vanish. And once that happens, you have to look toward the value you actually possess today and going forward.

When you hear people talk of the role of bookstores and their value to society, ask yourself, are they referring to the value they offer right this moment or the value they offered a quarter-century ago? Same with publishers. Is what they do today valuable or are they still treading on what they did that was valuable two or three decades ago?

Link to the rest at The Watershed Chronicle and thanks to Chris for the tip.

Indie bookstores doing fine: Now stop demonizing Amazon?

12 April 2014

From TeleRead:

Salon, rarely the most Amazon-friendly of venues, has justrun another story on the state of the indie bookstore sector in the U.S., and found surprisingly positive trends. And naturally, being Salon, it saw fit to headline the report with a hit at Amazon like: “The independent bookstore lives! Why Amazon’s conquest will never be complete.”

In the article, Andrew Leonard picks up on the same kind of data that I instanced previously on the relative fortunes of indie bookstores and major book chains (Borders in particular, of course) in the era of digital disruption. “Brick-and-mortar bookstores aren’t dead, yet,” he says. “On the contrary, independently owned bookstores are growing in number. According to the American Booksellers Association, since hitting a nadir in 2009, the number of indie bookstores in the U.S. has grown 19.3 percent, from 1,651 to 1,971.”

. . . .

Did Amazon ever really want to trample the indie bookstores under its feet? Is a solitary main street one-man-band bookstore really ever going to make Jeff Bezos lose sleep? And above all, since both are totally different kinds of businesses, was Amazon ever likely to be a serious threat to the indie sector?

It makes sense if you think about it. Amazon’s fundamental value proposition is distribution and fulfillment. Distribution is obviously something that a standalone store does not do. Amazon is using exactly the same algorithms and infrastructure to sell a vast range of general merchandisethat contributes the lion’s share of its revenues and has nothing to do with books.

. . . .

Leonard also instances another factor in the resurgence of indie bookstores in the U.S., though – the demise of Borders. “Indie-bookseller survival does not mean, however, that the larger trends unleashed by Amazon on the publishing industry are negated,” he points out. And that leads back to one important area where Amazon and the indie bookstores do resemble each other: They both excel in giving people what they want.

Link to the rest at TeleRead and thanks to Matthew for the tip.

The end of the beginning

8 April 2014

From The Bookseller:

After the excesses of the early years, did we all wake up in 2013 with a digital hangover? It can sometimes feel like it. Coming off the back of three years of treble-digit e-book growth, last year’s growth rate, of around 20%, was a detoxifier. In truth though, this party has barely even begun. As Amara’s Law argues, we tend to overestimate the impact of digital changes in the short term, but underestimate them in the long run.

. . . .

The numbers (those available to us) are not in dispute. The Bookseller reported in its issue on 24th January this year that e-book sales grew 18% in 2013, based on data supplied by all of the big publishers. It has since been backed by Nielsen’s Books and the Consumer report, which showed, based on consumers’ responses, that purchases of e-books were up by 20% in 2013. The Bookseller estimated that 74 million e-books were sold in 2013; Nielsen put out a figure of 80 million. The difference was Nielsen’s  larger estimate for sales of self-published e-books; it believes they account for 20% of overall e-book sales.

For those in doubt (and disappointingly some still are) both sets of data contain Amazon figures. But the caveats are important. There are huge chunks of the e-book market that we do not have sight of, and the data we do have is partial and estimated. I think a section of the e-book market, mainly Kindle-based, will be forever unknown.

. . . .

However, I don’t think the overarching message would change. The champagne days of treble-digit digital growth for all are clearly behind us. What we perceived as an explosion of e-reading was actually a market shift: for some sections of the reading community the e-book represented something new and convenient, and they flocked to it in their droves, downloading more than they’d ever had access to before, at low prices, and reading, I suspect, only a proportion of it. That—along with Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hunger Games—served to inflate the e-book space at a time when the print market was heading in the opposite direction. It also overemphasised the slowdown.

The next generation of e-book adopters may be slower arriving, and more promiscuous in their choices. Ideally, they will read across different platforms and be attracted to books by levers other than price. But in truth nothing is certain. Except clearly it is wrong to suggest that the e-book is going away, or that there is some kind of titanic struggle between the different formats, or those who work on them. What I see when I go into publishing businesses are editors as delighted by their e-book sales as well as their hardback sales, but relieved that one format did not kill off the other.

. . . .

When I interviewed Penguin Random House chief executive Markus Dohle in Berlin two weeks ago he said he thought the group’s growth rates would average out at around 2%–4% annually, driven by emerging markets and new business models. He expected the mature markets (the UK and the US) to grow by around 1%–2%.

. . . .

The inevitable lull that has followed a quieting of the e-book market is not to be dismissed. As one senior executive put it to me recently, the “bed-wetting” is now a thing of the past. As I wrote in The Bookseller Leader last week, it seems to me that publishing can now look forward from a stable base.

Link to the rest at The Bookseller

PG thinks 1-2% projected growth by the largest publisher in the US/UK markets is anything but a good sign for traditional publishing. PG would bet that Amazon’s book sales are growing significantly faster than that.

If Amazon sells more books than anyone else and it’s growing faster, what does 1-2% projected growth say about what’s really happening with physical bookstores?

People who write about the book business seldom recognize the market impact of authors (other than the occasional 50 Shades-style megabook). In PG’s behemothically humble opinion, most business-savvy authors are engaging with large traditional publishers these days only (or at least primarily) because those publishers offer access to physical bookstores and can push a bunch of books into those stores if the publisher decides it’s going to be a big book. As the number of physical bookstores shrinks, that tradpub benefit becomes less valuable.

While a lot of individual authors have reached the tipping point at which they’ve decided they’ll make more money traveling the indie road and either quit or never engage with traditional publishing, PG suspects there’s a tipping point up ahead when self-publishing will become conventional wisdom in the same way that “show, don’t tell” is in the writing world. The default choice for the ambitious author will be self-publishing.

If you’re looking for a parallel, think of the Blackberry. PG got an early Blackberry that just did email when he was doing a lot of business travel and it was wonderful. He remembers keeping track of the location of the Delta flight attendant while holding his Blackberry up against the airplane window during take-off to suck in as many emails as possible before entering the email dead zone.

He was happy when Blackberry offered an email/cell phone combination so he could give up his Nokia phone and just carry one lump in his pocket or (horrors!) on his belt. Blackberry’s physical keyboard was a lovely tool for composing emails. PG doesn’t remember exactly how many Blackberries he had, but there were several.

Then came the smart phone. And the even smarter phone. Email became an app, one of many apps.

For PG, the Blackberry physical keyboard would still be the best for thumb-typing, but he uses Siri for 90% of his email/text compositions. Plus email comprises a much smaller portion of what he uses his phone for than it did during the pre-iPhone era when Blackberry dominated the business market. Today, most business publications limit their Blackberry stories to the “will Blackberry survive or not” genre.

Blackberry didn’t stop doing what it did best. It just couldn’t change fast enough to keep up with competition.

Hence the comparison with traditional publishing.

Self-publishing is a far more threatening competitor to Randy Penguin than HarperCollins is or ever will be again.

It’s getting tough to find a book. But it’s worth it

8 April 2014

From The Globe and Mail:

Walk the streets of a major Canadian city and you can buy food from every exotic port in the world, dozens of types of coffee brewed in countless ways, sneakers that cost more than appliances. The only thing that’s hard to find is a book.

Independent booksellers are going down like bowling pins. In Toronto, the past few months have seen the death of at least three beloved bookstores. It’s a countrywide malaise: Oscar’s Art Books in Vancouver, Hull’s in Winnipeg, Collected Works in Ottawa, Macondo Books in Guelph, Ont., the Nicholas Hoare mini-chain – all gone. Even the country’s biggest chain, Chapters Indigo, is feeling the pinch. It’s recently shut two Toronto locations and is about to close another.

. . . .

“Extortionate rents and low sales,” one publisher said succinctly when I asked her why she thought we were suddenly seeing the equivalent of a First World War battlefield. When I say “suddenly,” of course, I mean, “on the horizon for a long time.”

. . . .

“There’s less browsing online than there is in a physical bookstore,” says Noah Genner, CEO of BookNet Canada, which gathers research and sales data. People are less likely to buy impulsively online than they would confronted with a table of books with “2/3 off” stickers. In a shop, a customer might come in to buy a game or a birthday card and leave with a book as well. Their eye might be caught by a pretty cover or a blurb from another author.

. . . .

The latest BookNet figures show that sales in Canada dropped 3.4 per cent between 2012 and 2013 (which is actually a relief after the 10-per-cent drop the year before). Those figures don’t include downloads: BookNet estimates that about 17 per cent of purchases are e-books. When the e-book figures are added to physical book sales, Mr. Genner thinks it’s likely we’re reading as much as ever.

Link to the rest at The Globe and Mail and thanks to Dale for the tip.

“Less browsing online than there is in a physical bookstore.” “People are less likely to buy impulsively online.”

PG knows quite a lot of Canadians who definitely live on Planet Earth. He never realized there were any who didn’t.

Should those of us South of the long and friendly border be concerned?

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