Why I Love My Nook and My Barnes and Noble
(An Open Letter to Mr. Len Riggio, Chairman and Mr.
William Lynch, CEO Barnes and Noble)
(by Susan James)
Dear Mr. Riggio and Mr. Lynch,
I am a reader. I am a writer. I am a publisher.
But first and foremost I am a reader.
I read all formats.
I have 2 Nooks.
I asked specifically for one of the first Nooks at Christmas
time when they first came out. My sister wanted to know
what she could get me for Christmas…and Nook rolled off my
tongue…so she got it for me. I LOVED it. I still use it. ( I have
friends that prefer the Kindle.)
Then the Nook (color) Tablet came out. By this time, Kindle
was of course very popular. As I usually do, I went to
cnet.com to see what they had to say about the 2 products.
The Nook still stood out for me as the one I wanted. I didn’t
care about the price, I wanted My New Nook Tablet. (Please
don’t give up on the Nook!)
I LOVE My Nook Tablet.
I purchase books and read them on my Nook.
However, I also at the same time purchase and read both
hardcover and softcover books.
Currently every morning before I start my day, I read from my
Nook And from 3 non-fiction books, which are hardcover and
soft-cover versions. I never buy used books. It’s not a
principled thing, I just love having ‘fresh new’ things.
Since I write and publish my own works, and have begun
publishing others as well, I also love Amazon for what it
brings to my writing business. I have all of my books on both
Amazon and BN / Pubit and in epub formats as well as
hardcover and soft cover.
The reason I’m giving you this backstory is because I also
love to read about what’s going on in publishing, of which of
course BN is in the headlines these days.
And although no matter what goes out for public consumption
as to BN business plans, I want YOU to know that as a reader,
I Love what you have done for readers. You can remain a Big
Box Bookstore, or you can do something unique, while
maintaining your core business and making splendid profit.
Business is about profit, income, revenue, otherwise why be
At one time I worked at a BAM just for kicks. And it was so
much fun to walk up to a reader and ask them about the books
they were interested in and what they were reading.
Many readers, stay within their own head space. They are not
so much concerned with the business of books and
publishing. But it is these readers who create the demand for
us writers and publishers and bookstore owners.
Readers Love Brick and Mortar Bookstores. We love to go
there. (Please don’t give up on brick and mortar version of
From a business standpoint, I’m sure you have many
considerations to how to continue to make money and keep
your stores open and viable.
I don’t pretend to have the answers, yet; although I am
burning in my own mind some ideas, as to how to give a win-
win-win to the readers, writers and publishers of books, while
keeping the brick and mortar bookstores open and having
happy employees of same.
There has to be a way. (This same notion is how Einstein
developed his E=MC2 Equation.)
We as readers have many options in how to read what we
read, but as business owners we do not need to continue to
focus on the other guy and what’s working for him and not
working for us.
Jimmy Kimmel has entered the late night race, along with
Leno and Letterman, and of course Conan. He’s third, and
happy about that. I watch all 3 of them at some time or
Kimmel has a new idea for his Friday nights… where did that
idea come from? It’s a great one!
Someone WILL have a great Idea about Bookstores.
Us readers Love bookstores. Us readers don’t care if BN is
number one. We care that we have a place to go where books
line up calling us in.
I understand you are considering taking BN private. That
sounds exciting. Mars is a very successful private company.
The employees are happy. The candy lovers are happy.
(Reference: Fortune Magazine Feb Issue/ Inside Mars by
David A. Kaplan Note: I bought the physical paper copy of
I’d like to go on record as a reader to thank you in advance for
finding a way to keep Barnes and Nobel in some way shape or
form, Open so that we can go in and play. (Please don’t give
up on us readers who love bookstores.)
Mr. Riggio, you were/are The King of Brick and Mortar
Bookstores. And yes, you had an effect on the independent
bookstores, but those effects started from the publishers and
the business model that was broken in the first place.
A new brick and mortar bookstore business model WILL
come of this and we will all win.
Personal Development with a Twist, Stirred but not Shaken.
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