Borders and B&N, Unite!

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

December 6, 2010 -- 12:41 p.m.

Book News: Borders' owner just made a proposal to buy Barnes and Noble. Will their powers combine to form an arch nemesis to Amazon?

Posters on the Wall Street Journal web site scoff and say the move is just to pump stock prices. I would be surprised at the move, personally. Borders is shutting down stores at the moment, so why would they try to absorb a huge chain?

Personally, I've been doing my Christmas shopping at Hastings, which is one of my favorite chain used book stores. Powell's is nice also, but Hastings has the advantages of used video games and used DVDs too. There's a big conversation in the gaming community about how buying used video games is immoral because developers don't get their money. That applies to books, too. I feel a wee bit guilty about denying my favorite authors their percentages (less about the game developers) but I am a poor student. They got their fee once, too, from the original owner. You wouldn't complain it was immoral if someone read a book and then gave it to someone else, would you? And which would an author rather have, their book in the trash, or their book in the hands of a fervent admirer who shows it to her friends and tries to convince them to buy it, too?

I presume that most authors are in favor of the used book industry, regardless of the fact they don't profit, but it would be interesting to find out. Used book stores have such a happy fuzzy reputation, I suspect most authors would be stoned on the spot if they dared to speak out against them.

The only problem with used books is that when I see trade paperbacks for $2.50, I end up bringing home 30 of them, and I never read them because I have too many. I must have twenty books on my shelf calling to me, and I keep buying more for "market research."

My baby brother turned 20 yesterday. I still remember wrapping his 1-year-old body in a blanket and stuffing him under an overturned laundry basket weighed down with my mum's aerobic weights, because he was so annoying. When I came back, he'd stopped moving, and I was terrified he'd suffocated, but no, he'd just fallen asleep, happy as a clam that his big sister had played with him. Unfortunately, he is big enough I can no longer do that. Though I have tried.

I love my family so much. Speaking of which, a delayed thanksgiving post: when I asked my grandfather what he wanted for his birthday/Christmas, he told me, "for you to find an agent and a publisher, and to get into grad school with good scores on your GREs."

If everyone had grandparents like mine, I don't think the world would have any crime or any war. We'd all live happy lives climbing lollypop trees and singing happy songs. I am so grateful for my family, who believe in me even though I categorically refuse to let them read my novels. I am tentatively planning on showing some them the first part of Skin Farm. We'll see if they think I've been wasting my time.


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