Buyers circle Barnes & Noble

Last week, it was reported that hedge fund Elliott Management Corp was set to buy Barnes & Noble for less than half a billion dollars. Yesterday, news leaked that a book distribution company called Readerlink LLC is trying to best Elliott Management's offer.

I don't know much about Readerlink, but I can tell you that if you work for Barnes & Noble and Elliott Management wins this bidding competition, you should immediately find new work. I wouldn't trust a hedge fund to run a lemonade stand: they exist to extract money from real businesses, not to build communities or bring a new model to chain retail.

The truth is, I'm not sure that the scale of Barnes & Noble works anymore. I think the only options are giant world-crushing chains or customer-obsessed indie bookstore; anything in between is just begging to be crushed or bought and absorbed or liquidated.