Books | Shelf Life

Barnes and Noble removes Sandman, Watchmen, and other graphic novels from its shelves

My attention was caught this morning by a tweet from Neil Gaiman: “Really? Barnes and Noble will no longer sell Sandman or Watchmen?” It turns out to be true: The company was angered by DC Comics’ deal  with Amazon to sell 100 graphic novels –including Gaiman’s – exclusively on the Kindle Fire. So it ordered stores to begin stripping the DC books from their shelves. Later today, B&N issued a statement to CNN that said, in part,

“Regardless of the publisher, we will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format…To sell and promote the physical book in our store showrooms and not have the e-book available for sale would undermine our promise to Barnes & Noble customer to make available any book, anywhere.”

Some Barnes & Noble stores – like the one nearest EW’s office – had completely removed the graphic novels in question by midafternoon. Other branches, like the one not far from my house in upstate New York, appear to not have heard the corporate message.

Has anyone seen this today at a Barnes & Noble? What do you think about it?

Originally posted October 7 2011 — 5:44 PM EDT

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