How the Strand sells print books to ebook readers


Also no DRM, no spying, easily resold or shared…


Also: You will actually own the book, not just a license to read it on proprietary hardware.


Lately, this is also every book (that I want to read) on Amazon that has a Kindle equivalent.

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The Strand’s “Cheaper than Kindle” table is marketing genius. When I first noticed it, I thought it was perfect – it kept me from taking out my phone to check prices and allowed me to just browse that table and trust that it was a good deal for books that interested me.

I just wish it was a bigger table!

I’m forwarding this to my local bookstore, although they don’t need it because they’re thriving. Apparently there are people who still like to buy physical books at a place where they can pick them up and thumb through them before buying.


Awesome! I was at a bookstore in Lenox, MA that offers e-book sales through their store.

It’s funny, but the things they choose to highlight seem a bit odd to me. Although my Kindle does have a battery that needs charging, it lasts so long that (unlike laptops and tablets) it never seems to be something I need to worry about. If it gets to 25% I just know I should charge it sometime in the next week.

Likewise, the screen is almost as good in bright sunlight as paper, and I think it’s only ever required one OS update. I can’t really comment on whether you can read it in a plane taking off.

I would have thought they’d be better off pointing out that you can easily share a paper book, and that you properly own it.


You might… or might not, depending on the airline and the mood of the flight attendants. But nobody will give you takeoff or landing guff over a paperback.

Since they’re in the business of selling books, their first instinct may not be to point out that borrowing and sharing books is a great thing to do. But I agree with you: those are definite selling points for me.

I was at The Strand a couple weeks ago and quite enjoyed browsing, and I found several books that I would like (including a wildly out of date book on dinosaurs with amusing illustrations from their used section).

But in my small shoulder bag I already had a relatively large and heavy hardcover book from Forbidden Planet next door, and I was planning on doing several other things in the city that day and didn’t want to carry around anything else… in my bag I also had my small Sony e-reader though, which has never been a problem to carry around when I want to.

On the one hand… books are really not a tough sell in the NYC market. The fact that The Strand is always packed full of people attests to that. But since space is at a premium and you do a lot of walking in NYC… e-books (on small devices) are also not a tough sell! So I’m not surprised that they put this up, but I think it probably isn’t really necessary.

I have actually found the prohibition of e-readers (among the most benign of electronic devices) during takeoff and landing quite annoying… I was flying a lot for a couple years a couple years back, and that’s why I got the thing in the first place (around 2009 when they were pretty new). I usually am not too provocative on planes but shortly after I got it I was engrossed in something and kept reading as we prepared for takeoff on my Korean Air flight, and a flight attendant came over and politely asked me to turn off my “electronic reading device”, which I still find amusing.

You mean your “electronic plane-crashing device,” of course. ;^)


This signage is wonderful. All the reasons I like my dead-tree reading devices.


I was assuming it was a Kindle FIIIIRRRRE!!!

Sometimes I feel so lonely in my love of both. I love my print books. I make my living off of print books. I love book stores and I hate watching so many of them die. Yet part of me feels this is a form factor discussion more than anything else. When I want to read, sure, there is an experiential factor involved. The smell of the book, the feel of the pages, the experience of browsing the store. There are also the times when I can buy a book over the air in an airport. Almost any book I want. Or being able to bring a whole series with me on a single, tiny device, while I travel from city to city for work. In the end I want the work of the author, in which I play a part. The delivery system is often irrelevant as it merely conveys the author’s intent into my head as my imagination works in tandem with the author’s creation to put on a terrific show in my brain. Do I love my vast library? Absolutely. Do I love my local book store? Absolutely. What I hate is that the form factor is limited to specific stores. I’d gladly buy my ebook from a local book store. We argue about the wrong things. Paper versus electronic isn’t the issue. It’s closed systems that are the issue. Publishers should make one file available to all their retail partners. Not one special one for Apple, one special one for Amazon…They need to get their paranoia of piracy exorcised to get rid of DRM (90% of people are too lazy to pirate anyway and the other 10% probably spend as much on media as they do time on pirating) and we need to get ours about how the content is delivered exorcised. Want an archival copy? Buy an archival copy. Want a quick read? Then buy a quick read.


You can’t fit 1000 paperbacks in a backpack, though.

The Strand is such a great place for bibliophiles. I always allow a whole afternoon to browse its wonderful shelves when I go to NYC.

For what it’s worth, in the 15-20 flights I’ve had in the last 3 years since I got my Kindle, I’ve never had a flight attendant ask me not to use it during takeoff or landing. Nor have I ever encountered a glare issue when reading in bright sunlight. I updated the firmware, once, but that was because I wanted to, not because I needed to. I don’t have a problem with real books, but for my reading patterns? eBooks just win out. I still buy paper books from time to time (in particular, when the ebook version is more expensive than the physical version, which makes NO SENSE to me), but in general I buy more books now than I did before I had my Kindle, and I actually read more than I did before I had it as well. I hope there’s room in the world for both, though.

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