Amazon to buy Barnes & Noble?

Readers of the investment news site rate Seattle's as the most likely buyer for the nation's largest traditional bookseller Barnes & Noble.

Thirty-seven percent of voters in the survey named Amazon as the brick-and-mortar bookstore chain’s most likely buyer.

Barnes & Noble last week announced that it was looking for strategic alternatives. The company’s stock has fallen by half this year. Most analysts suggest that the company has put itself up for sale.

Some in the industry speculate the chain could be bought by private equity firms or by the firm’s founder, Leonard Riggio, who already holds some 30 percent of its stock.

By buying Barnes & Noble, Amazon would absorb a major competitor in both the physical and electronic books business, but it would also inherit a network of physical stores, a business that it has shied away from.