Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Close the public libraries?

Now that Amazon's quarterly earning's report came in better than expected, some of the worriers can relax. The WSJ's "Ahead of the Tape" Justin Lahart had shown concern yesterday that Amazon now faces the prospect of e-commerce competition from just about anyone. E-bay and copycats make that a possibility.

When Amazon came out of nowhere ten years ago to compete with established book retail giants Borders and B&N and others, a new business model had to be acknowledged. Yet, Lahart has a point. Amazon's well deserved customer loyalty will be up against the most intense price competition imaginable once the thousands (or more) who had always dreamed of running a bookstore set up a virtual one.

You may have noticed that most books on Amazon these days are damned cheap. Borders and B&N fight back with coffee bars and reading spaces.

Time to think about closing the public libraries?