Early Briefing: Bookstore Troubles

*It used to be the big bookstores vs. the independent bookstores. Now it's all bookstores vs. Amazon.com, Costco and other big-box stores, which offer big discounts on books.
"It's only a matter of time before the independents and chains realize they are actually in the battle with them as opposed to each other," said Michael Norris, a book industry analyst for Simba Information, a media market-research firm.
Washington still has a number of independent bookstores, including Politics and Prose, Olsson's, Busboys and Poets and Kramerbooks. It has lost, however, stores including Chapters, Karibu Books and A Likely Story Children's Bookstore.

*In a move widely seen as symbolic, the Maryland Senate voted to regulate all new power plants in the state. If that happened, however, it could scuttle a deal with Constellation Energy under which customers would receive a one-time, $170 credit and other relief from high rates.

*Also yesterday, the Maryland Senate authorized a takeover of the Prince George's hospital system by an independent authority. Three of eight senators from the county, however, voted against amendments to the bill after Sen. Nathaniel Exum (D-Prince George's) questioned the appointment process to the authority.

By Terri Rupar  |  April 5, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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