How to Be a Bookstore in 2014

David Baldacci, who signed several thousand copies of his new book, “The Escape,” said he hoped the effort would help the last big bookstore chain standing to better compete against Amazon. “You can go online and buy any book you want, but there’s not a lot of excitement with clicking the buy button,” he said.

The uncanny quality of this statement is explained not by the fact that Barnes & Noble, the entity that Baldacci and a hundred other authors are partnering with to sell more books on Black Friday, is the biggest bookseller in the country, with over six hundred and fifty retail stores, and is a Fortune 500 company and billions of dollars in annual revenue, but by the fact that it, as the last national chain of bookstores, desperately needs their charity.

Perhaps it could adopt the Strand’s twin strategies for staying alive as an independent book store in this, the year of our Lord Bezos two thousand and fourteen: #branding and New York real estate. Or something else that people love, which has nothing to do with actual books! Tacos, maybe. Or Cronut knockoffs. People love those.