May the Sales Be with You. By Nick Bergus. There was a time, not so long ago, when the literati viewed chain bookstores as the evil empire. Stocked with mainstream best sellers and books meant to be judged by their covers and sold by underpaid workaday staff, Borders and Waldenbooks competed with indie shops manned by book lovers and furnished with interesting reads. Now, as the big bookstore chains have blinked out of existence, the spite is directed at the new threat. True believers, it seems, dare not speak its name. In a recent conversation, author Larry Baker (The Flamingo Rising) simply referred to the new retailing threat as “the Death Star,” the moon-size, world-destroying weapon of Star Wars. We all knew he was talking about the moon-size, industry-transforming retailer Amazon. While independents played on a somewhat level playing field with the brick-and-mortar chain stores, Amazon (and now, to a much lesser degree, Apple and Google) is playing a different game.