Magazine

Don't Cry for Me, Amazon


Your article "Selling books like bacon" describes independent bookstores as "driven nearly to extinction" (Marketing, June 16). IPSOS BookTrends reports that independent bookstores have maintained a 15% market share for the past four years, a higher share than mass merchandisers or the Internet.

BusinessWeek mentions The Lovely Bones, a surprise blockbuster and one of many books that independent booksellers were first to recommend and promote. The surviving independent bookstores have strong community ties and loyal customers. A 15% market share is very significant in a very diverse retail environment.

Michael F. Hoynes

Marketing Officer

American Booksellers Assn.

Tarrytown, N.Y. In "Private equity, public anger" (Finance, June 16), Mara Der Hovanesian asserts that investors in private-equity funds are "banging on the door to get out as hard as they once did to get in." On the contrary, most limited partners in private-equity, and specifically venture-capital funds, have the sophistication and financial savvy to realize that the asset class has a long-term horizon and outperforms the market over time.

Unrealized returns, whether they are positive or negative, are not meaningful. One cannot measure the performance of a venture fund until the final liquidity event occurs, which typically takes 7 to 10 years.

Mark Heesen

President

National Venture Capital Assn.

Arlington, Va.


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