The Death of the Bookstore?
Last week, Borders, a major player in the brick and mortar bookstore world, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In the last two years they closed a bunch of their Waldenbooks and Borders Express’ and I’ve heard estimates that 50% of their stores will close in the next five years.
Again, not good. But is it a sign of things to come? Will other brick and mortar bookstores follow suit?
We can’t know that but the market sure looks like it’s heading that way. Which means both authors and publishers need to make adjustments. With the advent of e-readers like the Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, and iPad things are changing in the industry. Also, there’s that little thing of cost. Box stores like Borders simply can’t compete with the prices of discount retailers like Walmart and online retailers like Amazon.
In my own experience, I’ve been noticing an upswing in the sales of the electronic versions of my own books. More people are purchasing e-readers and buying e-books.
So will the brick and mortar store eventually meet its demise? Probably not, at least, not any time soon. There’s still something magical about walking an aisle of books and perusing titles and covers. What will happen, though, is that the box store accounts with publishers will get smaller, which is bad news for both publisher and author. The challenge then is for publishers to get more creative with their online presence and sales. And for authors to get more creative in driving customers to those outlets.
So here’s the question: How do you feel about all this? Do you prefer to shop online or in a store? Do you frequent the box stores, mom & pop booksellers, or shop discount stores? Do you have an e-reader and, if so, are your days of shopping for print books over?