Shelf Awareness reports on possible consolidation in the book wholesaling world. Apparently the FTC is mulling over the possibility of the purchase of Baker & Taylor by Ingram.

Reaction from the world of independent bookselling is predictably nervous. And rich in wishful thinking. “It is also intriguing to see how Barnes & Noble will find their future in relation to this topic”, Hiroshi Sogo, director of Books Kinokuniya, quoted at Shelf Awareness on 5 December, speculates. “As commonly known, the Barnes and the Folletts families were originally working together in Chicago before William Barnes moved to New York and tied up with G. C. Noble to set up the B&N business. In a way, it may be seen as a reunion of the parties after a hundred years or so.” (I for one didn’t know that.)

I’d imagine B&N has enough on its plate right now without worrying about preserving diversity in the wholesale business. Still, vertical integration is often an attractive option, and they do already publish books, so why not wholesale them too? They already have a network of warehouses around the country which would be an asset for a wholesaler. We’ve become so used to agonizing about Barnes & Noble’s future that a surprise like this might be seized upon as really good news.