Barnes & Noble and Google Join Forces to Offer Same-Day Book Delivery Service

Print devotees, you may soon have the opportunity to get your hands on a freshly published hardback almost as quickly as downloading an e-book — and you won't have to use Amazon. Teaming up in an effort to compete with their shared rival, Google and Barnes & Noble will offer customers same-day book delivery in a few major cities.

Beginning Thursday, readers living in Manhattan, West Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area will be able to receive books within hours of ordering them from Barnes & Noble via Google Shopping Express, Google’s speedy delivery service which began operating nearly a year ago and already offers shoppers same-day delivery on items purchased from Target, Costco, Staples, and several other major retailers.

“Many of our shoppers have told us that when they read a review of a book or get a recommendation from a friend, they want a really easy way to buy that book and start reading it tonight,” Tom Fallows, director of product for Google Shopping Express, told the New York Times. “We think it’s a natural fit to create a great experience connecting shoppers with their town’s Barnes & Noble.”

This tag-team may offer a much-needed boost in profits for the struggling book retailer Barnes & Noble, which in the last five years has been forced to close 63 of its storefronts, the Times reports. It certainly marks a valiant effort on their part to enter onto the lucrative stage of the ever-growing e-commerce market while increasing sales from its physical stores.

For years, Amazon has been the reigning king of snappy, affordable book deliveries and the online print market in general, but this partnership between the floundering bookseller and the digital giant marks an explicit dethroning attempt. And it’s a timely one, too, amid the ongoing Amazon-Hachette squabble.

Plans to expand book delivery service to Brooklyn and Queens are in the works, too, but Amazon is still in the lead, having just announced the expansion of its same-day delivery service from four cities to 10 on Wednesday.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this turf war unfolds. In the meantime, I’m happy to be a Manhattan-based reader with even more opportunities to get my hands on my latest need-to-reads ASAP. (Granted, I'm bummed about circumventing time with bookstore cats.)