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Litblog Roundup: Bricks and Mortar Edition

Litblog Roundup: Bricks and Mortar Edition

virtual bricks

Now, from the creators of the website that you may have heard of, it’s a bookstore. Is it the Apple Store of bookstores or just the Barnes and Noble of Amazon Stores? It’s in Seattle. The books are all shelved with their covers facing out, with little cards to show the Amazon reviews. Online reviews are printed out on the shelves of a store. Other than that, it’s a bookstore, but it has raised so many questions.

Did Amazon Just Replace the Public Library? Did Ayn Rand worshippers just take over The Atlantic? Did Amazon just purchase the entire English language? Is Amazon’s bookstore a threat to indie bookstores? Did anybody drag out those not-so-fresh descriptors: “virtual” and “brick-and-mortar”?

Maybe the most interesting question here is the one that Wired asks. Why do companies pretend to invent the very things that they work so hard to make obsolete? For example, just as soon as nobody wants a watch anymore because they have a smartphone for that, Apple “invents” a watch. Similarly, bookstores are failing because of Amazon and the like, so now Amazon “invents” a bookstore.

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Dylan Kinnett

Dylan Kinnett is the founding editor of Infinity's Kitchen. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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