Amazon Doesn’t Care About Your Local Bookstore

Tim Carmody

Here are two surprising holiday shopping season success stories. They’re even more surprising because they seem to directly contradict each other.

First, Amazon, which has historically kept its sales figures for Kindle e-readers tightly under wraps, announced that it’s sold more than a million Kindle devices each week for the past three weeks. Priced between $79 for the new entry-level Kindle and $199 for the Kindle Fire tablet, that’s hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue every week for the Kindle division, not counting books, videos and apps.

Second, brick-and-mortar bookstores, many of whom expected to take a steep hit from the boom in e-readers, are instead reporting substantial year-over-year gains this holiday season — big chains like Barnes & Noble and indie booksellers alike. (Major factors here include the demise of Borders as well as the success of tentpole titles like Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs.)

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