Regarding yesterday's news that Amazon is looking to build an "equal" headquarters in some other North American city than Seattle: I was a bookseller for twelve years, first at a chain that Amazon destroyed and then at an independent bookseller. I have learned through painful experience never to trust Amazon. Yes, it's probably true that Amazon will soon be too big for Seattle alone. But if you think Amazon isn't going to use this opportunity to pit one "headquarters" city against another in a race to the bottom, you're mistaken. They will gladly take Seattle's future hostage in exchange for a shiny new tax cut. I have learned from experience that Amazon will do whatever it takes to come out on top.
Speaking of chain bookstores, there's no good news coming out of Barnes & Noble these days — particularly in the ebooks division:
Total company [first quarter] revenues fell 6.6% to $853 million, while Nook revenues fell 28.1%, to $29.5 million. That is literally the lowest Nook revenues ever recorded.
So that book written by Hillary Clinton's pastor has just been pulled from shelves due to rampant plagiarism.
Big changes at Vanity Fair, as editor Graydon Carter is retiring. Here is where I'd ordinarily say this is a great opportunity for an enterprising young editor to make her mark and reimagine the glossy magazine for a new generation, but come on. We all know that's not going to happen. It's been sad watching Vanity Fair shrink to anemic sizes; that last Hollywood issue was a shadow of years past.