New Yorker on Amazon Books: 'Not Built for People Who Actually Read'

Among the myriad articles discussing Amazon's new bookstore in the Time Warner Center in New York City, Jia Tolentino's thoughtful, amusing piece in the New Yorker stood out for many. Tolentino called Amazon's seven brick-and-mortar stores "not built for people who actually read" and likened the Columbus Circle store to an airport bookshop--"big enough to be enticing from the outside but extremely limited once you're inside." She said some of the store's sections, especially nonfiction, felt as if they were "organized like an ill-advised dinner party," and noted that in the entire store only two authors, John Steinbeck and W. Bruce Cameron, have three titles in stock. In the store's inventory she said she found "no wild cards, no deep cuts, no oddballs--just books that were already best-sellers," and left "without feeling a single unexpected thrill." Tolentino reports that she departed the Amazon store to head downtown to McNally Jackson Books, where she found two hardcovers and "had the brief thought I could have saved some money by buying them from Amazon. Then I paid for them happily anyway."

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