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Old 08-20-2019, 01:17 PM   #46
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Who *could* they team up with?

- Borders died, B&N rolled their own (poorly), ditto Target (but worse)..

- They tried the ABA gang and got nowhere, unavoidably, since all Indies combined barely total 5% of print.

- Rakuten should have been a fair partner but after they bought Buy.com they turned it into a B2B operation instead of B2C and they've shown no interest in helping sell content.

- eBay likewise has no interest in digital content

- Half-price is more about used books, Hudson is about location, and BAM is small and regional.

- Wal-mart expects suppliers to do the marketing and Kobo expects the retailer to do it. So neither did it.

What remains is Apple (they prefer a private garden) and Microsoft whose bread and butter is tools and technology and they gave up on ebooks too soon. By the time they realized it it was too late. Besides, they do best in corporate and hardware.

Kobo's problem is they really are too small to play in a market as big as the US and their business model only works with local partners doing the heavy lifting. (The entire company, worldwide, is 350 employees. There's only so much they can do.) Their best bet after Borders died was B&N.

They might end up buying the Nook customers if Daunt really is all about pbooks, but if he does he won't be spending money to help Kobo so it won't be too useful long term.

It's a tough nut to crack and unfortunately it's the most profitable by far.

They're trying much better than any of the other wannabes but trying isn't enough.
What did Target roll?
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Old 08-20-2019, 01:20 PM   #47
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And Kobo used to sell in Best Buy; I think that is where I bought my Glo.
Used to. Past tense.
(There were some horror stories.)

Kobo's business is supposed to be ebooks, with ereaders and apps driving customers to their store.

They actually do okay in ereaders according to some reports--13% vs 3% Nook. But that is just ereaders, not books. Books, though, is much lower: low single digits at the last open report. That's where local partners are supposed to help.
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Old 08-20-2019, 01:24 PM   #48
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What did Target roll?
IRiver Story HD, tied to Google Play books.

https://gizmodo.com/the-iriver-story...tegrat-5819931

It was the second iRiver ebook reader.

https://www.the-ebook-reader.com/iriver-story.html

https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=73579

They made good mp3 players.

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Old 08-20-2019, 07:29 PM   #49
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I doubt Kobo abandoned the USA due to concerns about anti-intellectualism. Why would they team up with Walmart if that were the case?

More likely, Kobo struggled to find a partner in the USA once Borders closed and Kobo has been seeking an entryway back ever since.

nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people. -H.L Mencken


You could be right or maybe not :

Amazon's Kindle e-book reader will fail, Steve Jobs says, because Americans simply don't read. From The New York Times:


“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

He said that back in 2008. The kindle was at it's most popular around 2010-2011 but Amazon is such a big company it can afford to support an ailing product line with almost no significant impact on their overall bottom line but that does not mean the Kindle is currently a success :

"There is a growing negative sentiment towards e-readers. ...

...


Tom’s Hardware believes that e-readers are catering to a diminishing audience. “More than one-quarter of U.S. adults read no books in 2016; of the 74% who did, some read a single book “in part.” The average U.S. reader finishes from four to 12 books per year, depending on whether you want to go with the median or the mean. The number of people who read, and the amount that they read, have both been steadily decreasing since the early ’80s.”

https://goodereader.com/blog/electro...ards-e-readers






https://www.amazon.com/Age-American-...s%2C266&sr=8-1




https://www.amazon.com/Age-American-...gateway&sr=8-1

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Old 08-20-2019, 07:30 PM   #50
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The only Americans who read to a substantial degree nowadays are elite Americans like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:10 PM   #51
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nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people. -H.L Mencken
Baloney. Many casinos have gone bankrupt, even ones owned by people other than he who must not be named.

Also, I don't believe that intelligence = reader.

I think the main reason I don't watch television is impatience. I like a book better because I control the pace. That doesn't make me dumb, but it sure doesn't mean I'm smart.

Movies? Yes, I can watch them in the theater with my wife, as the lack of distraction, and reluctance to admit the cost of admission was wasted, makes me likely to stay. Fortunately, my wife Barbara and I have similar notions as to when it gets so bad that walking out is essential.

P.S. Having said that, I do admit to liking it when a child of ours reads.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:55 PM   #52
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I live in a retirement home in rural Arkansas. Offhand I'd say that 25% of the people here are regular readers and another 25% are occasional readers. Most of these people didn't finish high school and worked most of their lives in stores and gas stations and doing menial work, so I doubt they're likely to be called intellectuals. But a number of them do read.

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Old 08-20-2019, 10:07 PM   #53
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Brb I’m gagging on the intellectual elitism oozing into this thread.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:35 PM   #54
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Baloney. Many casinos have gone bankrupt, even ones owned by people other than he who must not be named.
That is not because Americans are smart but because in business the motto is "location, location, location." For instance, the most economically depressed county, in New York, named Sullivan county had a casino open up meanwhile there is other better ones in the surrounding areas like Saratoga, Mohegan Sun and Atlantic city. So, consequently the Sullivan county casino is doing poorly.

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Also, I don't believe that intelligence = reader.

I think the main reason I don't watch television is impatience. I like a book better because I control the pace. That doesn't make me dumb, but it sure doesn't mean I'm smart.

Movies? Yes, I can watch them in the theater with my wife, as the lack of distraction, and reluctance to admit the cost of admission was wasted, makes me likely to stay. Fortunately, my wife Barbara and I have similar notions as to when it gets so bad that walking out is essential.

P.S. Having said that, I do admit to liking it when a child of ours reads.
There is definitely a strong correlation between intelligence and reading books. I know correlation does not equal causation but that is besides the point : the higher the intelligence the more likely people are to read e.g. Elon Musk and Bill Gates etc.. etc..

In the days before television and radio etc... a certain amount of information was acquired through spoken words and through observation. However, for intelligent and curious people that was never enough. They knew they had to read too, and they did read. There is some feeling nowadays that reading books is not as necessary as it once was because of radio, television, and youtube etc...have taken over many functions once served by print. But it may be seriously questioned whether the advent of modern communications media has much enhanced our understanding of the world in which we live. People may have more knowledge floating around their heads but knowledge is not as much a prerequisite to understanding as is commonly supposed. You don't have to know everything about something to understand it and sometimes too many facts get in the way of understanding. Modern people are inundated with facts to the detriment of understanding.

The media does packaging of intellectual views and is done by some of the best minds in our day. People are inundated with all kinds of complex elements--all the way from ingenious rhetoric to carefully selected data and statistics -- to make it easier for people to "make up their mind" with the minimum of difficulty and effort. However, the packaging of these elements are often done so effectively that people don't make up their minds at all. Instead they insert packaged opinions in their minds, somewhat like inserting a CD rom into a cd player. They push a button "play back" and then parrot the opinion back whenever it seems appropriate to do so. They have performed acceptably without having to think.

"Most men would rather die than think and many do." --Bertrand Russell

Many people think reading is passive like the above ^ methods of getting knowledge but this is false the highest levels of reading : Analytical and syntopical are highly active like the activity between a pitcher and catcher in the game of baseball but 82-87% of Americans read at an elementary level that is why authors like James Patterson are so popular.

If you doubt Americans are poorly educated in reading, math and science just look up America's PISA scores compared to nations like Finland and Japan etc... American schools are so bad that college students don't reach the mature stage of syntopical reading until graduate school college level but that is supposed the basic reading level of college in general.


There are five basic ways to sort truth from falsehood:

Check the reliability of the authors you read: A theologian is a less- reliable source of information than a scientist.

Compare different sources of information on the same topic (books, magazines, webpages, etc.. this is the essence of syntopical reading basically), and note the areas of disagreement or omissions. Omissions often indicate bias, while points of disagreement should be investigated to see, if possible, who is really telling the truth. Sources with obvious bias need to be studied, since these will usually have the most telling criticisms of the other side.

Observe who is willing to debate, and who is not: The former are most likely to be telling
the truth, while the latter are probably trying to keep their lies from being exposed.

Observe whether the arguments are clear or obscure: the latter are a good indication of muddled thinking, and a likely marker of error.

If you yourself have a bias, be sure to study the accounts of those biased against your view: Your enemies will tell you things your friends would never think of -- or never dare to mention if they did.


Truth has no manners. It is no respecter of persons. It wounds kings as deeply as commoners. It cuts down the high, and confirms the lowness of the low. It may dress up for formal occasions, but it does so only in order that it may more shockingly expose itself in front of the assembled company. And just as it respects no one, likewise there are few who respect it. But those who do are granted many favors -- power, understanding, dominion, and of course the honor of the unswerving hatred of the ignorant millions.

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Old 08-20-2019, 10:37 PM   #55
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Brb I’m gagging on the intellectual elitism oozing into this thread.
Oh, in that case you definitely want to read my latest post above ^ ! When I was in college I had a college Dean call me an 'elitist' in derogatory fashion. Americans hate elitism. It was an American college consequently.

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Old 08-20-2019, 10:55 PM   #56
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I live in a retirement home in rural Arkansas. Offhand I'd say that 25% of the people here are regular readers and another 25% are occasional readers. Most of these people didn't finish high school and worked most of their lives in stores and gas stations and doing menial work, so I doubt they're likely to be called intellectuals. But a number of them do read.

Barry
With all due respect barry, I suspect that you are innumerate because people who are not good at math have a strong tendency to personalize things. Someone who understands statistics would say that your town very well might be a statistical outlier and cannot represent all neighborhoods in the USA let alone base a median or mean for the country off that data a lone.
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:37 PM   #57
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The only Americans who read to a substantial degree nowadays are elite Americans like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
I disagree. I am far from being an elite and I read books and don't watch TV. I buy 4-6 hardcovers (sometimes more) a month for myself and 3-4 books each month for each of my grandchildren. I currently have more than 50 hardcovers on preorder (about 10 of which are for the grandchildren). I also subscribe to multiple magazines and to the newspaper.

My wife is also a big reader, although not at my level. Unlike me, she watches TV (I haven't, except for the Democrat debates, watched TV for any reason in the past 6 months).

I do agree that reading is on the decline; I am amazed at how many people I know who haven't read more than 1 book (and usually zero books) in the past year and who also do not read/subscribe to magazines or newspapers -- if it isn't on TV, they know nothing about it. But reading is not confined to the elite and I think the decline is a result of a lack of encouragement by parents and by a decline in the quality of reading material. I am appalled at the number of errors I find in books and the mini-trend of using plural pronouns for singular pronouns is both distracting and making reading more difficult.
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:54 PM   #58
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I do agree that reading is on the decline; I am amazed at how many people I know who haven't read more than 1 book (and usually zero books) in the past year and who also do not read/subscribe to magazines or newspapers -- if it isn't on TV, they know nothing about it. But reading is not confined to the elite and I think the decline is a result of a lack of encouragement by parents and by a decline in the quality of reading material. I am appalled at the number of errors I find in books and the mini-trend of using plural pronouns for singular pronouns is both distracting and making reading more difficult.
Try this:

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cu...read-revisited

The population has grown and a lot of people have other sources than books to get their information, entertainment, or marching orders from.

Think about it: we're here discussing the prospects of the sale of B&N, Kobo's history of failure in securing a supportive local partner, or the plebian reading habits of the great unwashed instead of a tiny smoke filled cabaret in a bohemian portion of a big city.

Not something that would've happen a century ago or sixty years ago or even thirty.

It's a different time inhabited by different people with different problems and attitudes and habits. Times change, societies change, people change and those that expect the future to be like the past but with a different calendar are doome to bitter reactionary disappointment.

Reading books is no longer the only form of entertainment or mass communucation. Over the last century it's been supplemented by radio, tv, and the internet. People don't need to read to receive the thoughts of their intectual superiors (there's PBS and CSPAN for that ).
Or need to travel to enjoy the vistas of the mudball or to be amused with tales of past times, future times, or notable past-timers.
There's entire channels devoted to animals, romance, speculation, or just watching stupid people doing stupid things.

People are free to do as they darn well please without concern for what previous generations or current foggies might think about them, even if it means treading across somebody's cherished lawn.

That may change "come the revolution" but in the meantime there is room for variety of thought and expression. Books are just one vehicle for dispersal of thought. It's not even the most important one. Not everybody values them. Nor do they have to. But those that can are abundant and its easier than ever to work both ends of the thought dispersal pipeline.
We can celebrate that, right?

Live and let live while we can.
It may not always be so.

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Old 08-21-2019, 01:48 AM   #59
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The only Americans who read to a substantial degree nowadays are elite Americans like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
That's simply not true.
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Old 08-21-2019, 04:38 AM   #60
murraypaul
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Originally Posted by MGlitch View Post
Brb I’m gagging on the intellectual elitism oozing into this thread.
I think it might be the pretentiousness that is really doing the damage.
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