Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: New chapters in book battle

October 15, 2009

Check out the battles emerging over books. BRITAIN/

Google on Thursday announced plans to offer its own online electronic bookstore, joining a battlefield currently dominated by Amazon.com.

The company plans to sell ebooks for any device with a web browser and its library is expected to start at about half a million books when it is launched in 2010.

The library would compete with the likes of Amazon.com’s Kindle offerings, but the books an be bought from Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com, as well as from Google directly.

Separately, Barnes & Noble is expected to launch its own electronic reader next week. Pictures of that reader on Gizmodo look kind of cool.

The New York Times also says that even public libraries are getting more into ebooks, though the business model is dicey for publishers.

In paper and ink book news, Walmart.com said it will offer the top 10 preselling U.S. books for $10 each, including free shipping.

Amazon, meanwhile, is launching same-day delivery in seven major cities, with more cities being added.

Are consumers really still this bookish? Judging from the battle over their hearts, minds and eyeballs, these companies still think there are plenty of sales to book.

Also in the basket:

Safeway profits drop 36 pct

Walgreen sets $2 billion share buyback program

Gap to open in China in 2010, will restart TV ads

(Reuters photo)

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