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Monday, May 21, 2012

Let's All Watch a British Bookstore Chain Kill Itself

Posted by Paul Constant on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Last night, the CEO of British chain bookseller Waterstones announced that his company was going to sell Amazon's Kindles in its stores, and they would be selling Kindle e-books on their site. Watch the announcement right here:

This video reminds me of something I wrote in my eulogy for Borders Books and Music almost a year ago, when Borders announced that was going to handle Borders' e-commerce side:

There's a photo of Jeff Bezos and then-Borders president and CEO Greg Josefowicz shaking hands to celebrate the partnership. Josefowicz has weatherman hair and a broad smile, and he's beaming past the camera with the cocksure giddiness of a guy who thinks he just got rid of all his problems because he sold his dumb old cow for a handful of really cool magic beans. But when you pull your eyes away from Josefowicz's superheroic chin, you notice that Jeff Bezos is smiling directly into the camera with keen shark eyes. His smile is more relaxed, a little more candid than Josefowicz's photo-op-ready grin. It's the face of someone who's thinking, I finally got you, you son of a bitch.

It's a photograph of the exact second that Borders died.

The clock started ticking for Waterstones the second they announced this partnership. I don't know how long it'll be, but Waterstones will be gutted just as surely as Borders was by this decision.

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