The Starbucks Effect Becoming the Amazon Effect?

(I, apparently, have given up on pretending to not be obsessed with all things Kindle.) 

Yesterday’s post about Amazon Kindle partnering with local libraries got me thinking about the role of eBooks in the reading market.  With Amazon now offering direct lending between users, library lending, textbook borrowing, and free out of copyright books, I wonder if they are becoming the new Starbucks.  Not that they will start selling eCoffee (though someone should look into that), but that they will have/already have had a similar effect on their industry.

Starbucks introduced coffee to tons of non-coffee drinkers and effectively started the coffee drinking phenomenon, creating an exploding market big enough for all coffee shops.  Even small, local coffee shops benefited from a new Starbucks right around the corner.  When a Starbucks would open, they created more coffee drinkers in that specific market.  Eventually, those new addicts would make their way from Starbucks to the local shop around the corner.   Everybody wins (in theory and practice-sometimes).

I’m definitely not saying that Starbucks has helped all local coffee shops, but you have to admit it changed the coffee industry and marketplace.  More people than ever drink coffee.  If Amazon can do the same with books, and increase the amount of book readers through eBooks, we’re looking a very potential explosion in the industry.  I personally don’t think too often about the publishing industry and how they’ll have to change because of eBooks, but I do care about the availability of books and getting more people to read.  I want easy access to as many books as possible.

In that sense, the Kindle and Kindle Lending is a godsend.  Right?

About zach

Staring out across the hazy mountain range on his latest summitting of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Zach saw with a clearness he had not yet seen. "People should tremble at the very sound of my name", he thought. And it was so. "I should master the manly arts of the world, such as barehanded hunting and blacksmithing". And it was so. "People should call me Z$". And it was so.

Currently Reading

-The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
-The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
-Twitter for Good by Claire Diaz Ortiz


  1. So what you are saying is, people will get hooked on reading and then go to the little bookstore around the corner. Right?

    Okay, maybe not, but I agree with this post. Kindle, whether I love the thought of the e-reader or not, has put a whole new emphasis on reading. It has brought in many who for whatever reason have avoided print books. Maybe because libraries are scary. Especially school libraries. The stacks especially. All those ancient books with their voodoo and forgotten lore….but I digress.

    Well put Z$, Kindles (and, I suppose, other e-Readers) shall bring the literature world some new life.

    Now to start writing that mystery about a murder in the stacks of the local university….

    • Yup, I don’t know whether it will be good or not for the industry. Probably bad judging from book store closings and publishers’ bottom lines. For good or bad, I just don’t care about the money made. I care if more people are reading.

  2. Jennifer Creagar says:

    I think in some ways, Kindles have already brought some new life to the literature world. One of my favorite new things is “Kindle Singles.” They are inexpensive or free, short pieces written by well known and unknown authors on every subject you can think of, and some are brilliant. Some not so much, but that’s part of the fun.

    • Yeah, Kindle Singles are awesome. I think that non-bestselling books probably won’t sell as well going forward, but that’ll be because there are so many more options available, not because less people are reading.

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