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Isn't downloading a cheaper kindle version of a book just as instant (or faster depending on the line) as buying in a store? AND it comes without the "price of now" tax. I'll gladly trade a paper copy for lower price...

Ben Patterson

There is so much acrimony in this post. A physical retailer, even a chain like Barnes & Noble is paying rent, providing a community gathering spot - where you read a book for an hour, bringing cultural events like author readings into a neighborhood and is responsible for collecting sales tax - all things Amazon does not do. I suppose if you'd rather have a Cash4Gold or PaydayAdvance on every street corner that is an alternative, but it feels a lot like internet pricing entitlement is negatively impacting neighborhoods and service. I love Amazon, I also love browsing at Barnes and Noble. I would very much love to see states enforce sales taxes vis a vis internet businesses to balance books and even the playing field. And I'm a digital business. It's patently unfair to create separate playing fields.

Patrick | Lalala Music Business Plan

Each of the companies have their own strategies and unique processes. As business continue to migrate online, physical bookstores will start becoming a scarce product, soon the higher prices will be justified, if not already :) instantaneous gratification, holding the product, smelling the pages...


Instead of selling a membership that only gives customers 10% off at the store, B&N should sell a membership that lets you get the prices from their online store in person.

A quick check of their website reveals that while the book mentioned in the post is more expensive than Amazon, it is still significantly less expensive than the brick-and-mortar store ($18). Even with an exorbitant sales tax, if that book sold at B&N's online price at their store, he would've saved money over buying at Amazon with the $3.99 shipping.

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