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The end of the bookstore?

violet3

Ideal_Rock
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It has been announced that BORDERS book store and it's smaller chain Walden books are going out of business. For me, the idea that bookstores are being replaced with online stores and/or e-readers is really sad. I am a fairly avid reader, and I LOVE book stores - I love perusing them at my own pace and finding something great to read. I also happen to be the kind of person who really likes to hold a real book while reading it.

I am on the fence on the e-reader. In some ways I really want one and I know I would use it (and probably love it). In other ways, I know it contributes to the end of real live bookstores, which is the same reason I don't order books from amazon.com. Years ago, when small bookstores still existed, I didn't frequent the chain stores and gave my money to local stores to help keep them in business. I understand the business of conglomeration and the inevitable changes that come with it, but it still makes me sad.

thoughts?
 

marcy

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I resisted getting an ereader for a long time because I love the feel of a book and browsing through a book store. It is sad to see traditional book stores coming to an end but technology has come up with a way to buy books from home. Now that I have an ereader. (I bought a Kindle but now just read with my Kindle app on my iPad) and use it all the time.

I think it's really sad that kids today will probably never have the love of traditional books many of us have. I remember going to the library as a kid and picking out as many books as they'd let me check out for a week and i read every one of them.
 

jewelerman

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i like feeling the book in my hands and as they say" curling up with a good book" is part of the reading experiance for me. i enjoy going into a book store and browsing also.i dont think that books will be a thing of the past but people will not have the need to buy as many and there wont be the storage or mobility issues for alot of people.
 

Miss Sparkly

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centralsquare|1312650100|2985466 said:
Bookstores, newspapers, magazines...all things of the past...
Agreed about the newspapers. My dad always asks if I get the paper and I respond saying that there is no reason because the entire content is available online for free. I still believe that magazines will continue to be popular as they travel well, especially in areas where wifi is not available (which is almost my entire state :cheeky: ) Still up in the air about books and what may happen with them...Once thing I would like to see is textbooks available for ereaders at a significantly reduced cost. Say $10 per book.
 

maplefemme

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I love going to book stores, discovering something you might never have read otherwise, so I hope we don't see them go the way of the dodo.
I also have a complete love affair with antique books, some are just works of art, I love that musty book smell too.
I recently bought some 20 pages on eBay written in 1873 all about life in the diamond mines in Africa, it's quite incredible to learn the subtle nuances of daily life in the mine back then.
 

sphenequeen

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Remember when Borders and other mega-bookstores like it came around and put mom and pop bookstores out of business? I sure do, and I think this is just another part of the evolution of business and technology. I will say that now it seems that people want the convenience of shopping online which offers the ability to get exactly what you want (most times) without the dissapointment of going into those larger book stores and NOT finding what you want. Also, I do see a resurgence in independent books stores (at least where I live) and I think that is because they fill a niche market.
 

Sundial

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I am an avid reader who loved the feel of a book in my hands and loved to spend time browsing at the bookstore. I never thought that would change. Nowadays though I do all my reading on a Kindle (with a nice leather book-like cover) and most of my browsing is done on Amazon's website. I have to say that I love the convenience of technology and for me there is no going back.
 

lbbaber

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Sundial|1312653745|2985493 said:
I am an avid reader who loved the feel of a book in my hands and loved to spend time browsing at the bookstore. I never thought that would change. Nowadays though I do all my reading on a Kindle (with a nice leather book-like cover) and most of my browsing is done on Amazon's website. I have to say that I love the convenience of technology and for me there is no going back.

+1

This is me EXACTLY.

:read:
 

centralsquare

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Sparkly Blonde|1312650463|2985469 said:
centralsquare|1312650100|2985466 said:
Bookstores, newspapers, magazines...all things of the past...
Agreed about the newspapers. My dad always asks if I get the paper and I respond saying that there is no reason because the entire content is available online for free. I still believe that magazines will continue to be popular as they travel well, especially in areas where wifi is not available (which is almost my entire state :cheeky: ) Still up in the air about books and what may happen with them...Once thing I would like to see is textbooks available for ereaders at a significantly reduced cost. Say $10 per book.
I've never bought a newspaper. I'd never get my fingers dirty when I can just click, click, click online....
 

violet3

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sphenequeen|1312653667|2985491 said:
Remember when Borders and other mega-bookstores like it came around and put mom and pop bookstores out of business? I sure do, and I think this is just another part of the evolution of business and technology. I will say that now it seems that people want the convenience of shopping online which offers the ability to get exactly what you want (most times) without the dissapointment of going into those larger book stores and NOT finding what you want. Also, I do see a resurgence in independent books stores (at least where I live) and I think that is because they fill a niche market.
I do remember this - if you read my original post, I stated that when independent stores were still in business i didn't give my money to chain book stores in order to keep local business alive. I agree that it's part of the conglomerate evolution, but it's still sad. I actually have a local bookstore that is still in business, and i only patron my bookstore. But then, I live in a resort town where the local bookstore is quaint and charming -- my sister, on the other hand, lives in general suburban life with lots of traffic and strip malls. The only bookstore near her is a Borders, and as a new mom, she often find her "me" time to be a half hour that she can wander around the bookstore and find something to read.

I hope that you are right that independent or boutique book stores will be making a resurgence. That is my hope as well.
 

sphenequeen

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violet3|1312657151|2985510 said:
sphenequeen|1312653667|2985491 said:
Remember when Borders and other mega-bookstores like it came around and put mom and pop bookstores out of business? I sure do, and I think this is just another part of the evolution of business and technology. I will say that now it seems that people want the convenience of shopping online which offers the ability to get exactly what you want (most times) without the dissapointment of going into those larger book stores and NOT finding what you want. Also, I do see a resurgence in independent books stores (at least where I live) and I think that is because they fill a niche market.
I do remember this - if you read my original post, I stated that when independent stores were still in business i didn't give my money to chain book stores in order to keep local business alive. I agree that it's part of the conglomerate evolution, but it's still sad. I actually have a local bookstore that is still in business, and i only patron my bookstore. But then, I live in a resort town where the local bookstore is quaint and charming -- my sister, on the other hand, lives in general suburban life with lots of traffic and strip malls. The only bookstore near her is a Borders, and as a new mom, she often find her "me" time to be a half hour that she can wander around the bookstore and find something to read.

I hope that you are right that independent or boutique book stores will be making a resurgence. That is my hope as well.
Didn't mean to be redundant... This makes me sad, too!
 

HopeDream

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I work at a large chain bookstore. Business has dropped 10% per year for the last 3 years because of the rise of ebooks. My bookstore is trying to carry more gift and non-book products to help prop-up sales, but I think we'll probably go under in a year or two.

The switch to ebooks is similar to the switch from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles - lots of people cling strongly to the way things used to be, but the benefits of the technological advance far outweigh the costs, so change is inevitable.

People have warm fuzzy feelings about books, but when money is on the line, most people are going to go for the cheaper ebook option. I think the only barrier to more widespread adoption is the cost of the ereader. As soon as those go down in price ... goodbye books.

Books made of paper will not dissappear completely - If you want a hard copy of certain favorites you will still be able to order them. there will always be paper books for those willing to pay for them.

I think the switch to ebooks will reduce a lot of waste - last year we recycled 10,000 books that just didn't sell (and that's just one large bookstore!). Think of the wasted paper and the energy used in shipping! Sometimes we can't sell a book because we've sold out of it, or lost it, or it's damaged - Ebooks don't have these problems. Ebooks have very little production and distribustion cost, so more money can go to both the publisher and the author.

Like it or not, the future is here.
 

AmeliaG

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I just find it annoying. When Kindle came out, consumers were offered more choices. If I wanted to get a book during my lunch hour, I could pop into the local bookstore and grab one in time to read the first chapter before lunch was over. And I could browse Amazon for hard to find titles for my Kindle.

Now with fewer bookstores and video stores, there are fewer choices.
 

zoebartlett

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Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
It makes me sad to think of any bookstore going out of business. I may end up getting a Kindle at some point but I like real books. They're free if you get them from the library or, if you're like me, and you're close with someone who buys books and shares them with you because you have the same taste. Thanks mom! I love buying books but I'm too cheap to do it often.

I used to work in publishing, and it was fascinating to watch and learn how books are created, from beginning to end. That's all lost with e-readers. Well, I suppose someone could get excited about the technological aspect of storing files and all that, but I'm not much of a computer geek.
 

zoebartlett

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Speaking of newspapers, I have to admit that I don't like them at all. I think it's a texture thing with me though, mostly. I can't stand the feel of newsprint, and I hate getting ink all over my hands. I also find them cumbersome. I MUCH rather read the news online or watch the news on TV.
 

NewEnglandLady

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What's interesting for me is that I was an avid Borders shopper--I probably bought one book a week. Now that both the Borders near my house and the Borders near my work are going out of business, I'm going to have to shop online. I'll never own a Nook or Kindle, I like paper books too much, but I find it sad that I'm forced to shop for books online now because I have no other option.
 

JewelFreak

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Oh, it just breaks my heart. I love wandering around bookstores. Have picked up things I never would expect to read & learned a lot. I order from Amazon (real books) when i can't find something specific in a B&M store, but you can't just browse there, it's not the same.

Cuddling up in bed with an electronic gadget just doesn't do the trick as a book does. I may eventually get an ereader when it's the only way to get some books, but I'll be bitching all the way.

---Laurie
 

lyra

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Jul 13, 2007
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I've always spent a good bit of money on books every month. I went to libraries, then bought paperbacks, and eventually grew to love only hardcovers that I would try to find online used (first editions if possible). I have all the hardcover books I'd ever want now. I didn't think I'd get very attached to my Kindle, but I was so wrong! I really get into books. I still laugh out loud and cry when reading on the Kindle. It's the words, not the form they come in, that hold the emotion for me. I didn't think it would be that way, but it is for me. ;))
 

galeteia

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I'd like to see the big chain stores disappear and little indie stores come back for the niche market of hard copy books.

E-readers are really changing how books are published and allows little publishing houses a fighting chance against the big juggernauts.
 

taovandel

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I'm a big reader---but once I had my babies I just didn't have time to browse in a book store anymore and I caved and got a Kindle.

I used to live in our Borders practically....before I was married with kids I would drop hundreds of dollars there at a time....so sad to see it going.
 

Gothgrrl

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I too, love to read and love to hold a book in my hand. I like how you have a hard cover book and the sleeve that comes on it. I can't bring myself to get a kindle. I love having my books in a bookcase. Also, buying CDs. I like the sleeve with all the little information about the band, who they thank and so forth.
 

lbbaber

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So many of us who love books have said that we would never get an e-reader. I am a HUGE collector of books (old, rare, 1st editions, unique, art, architecture, etc....). As a matter of fact I even bought the house I live in now bc it had a good size library already set up in it (and I filled it and then some with my collection).

Ironically, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Kindle. I swore for years that I wouldn't buy one. I hate that they will eventually put many book stores out of business but the convenience can not be beat. I still collect books but for my everyday reading the Kindle is PERFECT. I love being able to buy a book anytime/anyplace and that I can carry my collection everywhere I go (my husband swears we will never move again bc he is done lugging my library--it gets HEAVY when you have to move thousands of books!)

So far everyone I know that loves books and swore they would not like having an e-reader has also LOVED the e-readers when they finally caved in. Even in this thread it seems that the only people that are still against them are the ones that havent bought one yet.

Anyone reading this that HATES their e-reader? I ask bc it seems that once people try it, they are hooked. Even those of us that are true book lovers. Just curious.
 

violet3

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sphenequeen|1312659274|2985529 said:
violet3|1312657151|2985510 said:
sphenequeen|1312653667|2985491 said:
Remember when Borders and other mega-bookstores like it came around and put mom and pop bookstores out of business? I sure do, and I think this is just another part of the evolution of business and technology. I will say that now it seems that people want the convenience of shopping online which offers the ability to get exactly what you want (most times) without the dissapointment of going into those larger book stores and NOT finding what you want. Also, I do see a resurgence in independent books stores (at least where I live) and I think that is because they fill a niche market.
I do remember this - if you read my original post, I stated that when independent stores were still in business i didn't give my money to chain book stores in order to keep local business alive. I agree that it's part of the conglomerate evolution, but it's still sad. I actually have a local bookstore that is still in business, and i only patron my bookstore. But then, I live in a resort town where the local bookstore is quaint and charming -- my sister, on the other hand, lives in general suburban life with lots of traffic and strip malls. The only bookstore near her is a Borders, and as a new mom, she often find her "me" time to be a half hour that she can wander around the bookstore and find something to read.

I hope that you are right that independent or boutique book stores will be making a resurgence. That is my hope as well.
Didn't mean to be redundant... This makes me sad, too!
No - i completely agree with you 100%!!!
 

violet3

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lbbaber|1312690283|2985706 said:
So many of us who love books have said that we would never get an e-reader. I am a HUGE collector of books (old, rare, 1st editions, unique, art, architecture, etc....). As a matter of fact I even bought the house I live in now bc it had a good size library already set up in it (and I filled it and then some with my collection).

Ironically, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Kindle. I swore for years that I wouldn't buy one. I hate that they will eventually put many book stores out of business but the convenience can not be beat. I still collect books but for my everyday reading the Kindle is PERFECT. I love being able to buy a book anytime/anyplace and that I can carry my collection everywhere I go (my husband swears we will never move again bc he is done lugging my library--it gets HEAVY when you have to move thousands of books!)

So far everyone I know that loves books and swore they would not like having an e-reader has also LOVED the e-readers when they finally caved in. Even in this thread it seems that the only people that are still against them are the ones that havent bought one yet.

Anyone reading this that HATES their e-reader? I ask bc it seems that once people try it, they are hooked. Even those of us that are true book lovers. Just curious.
I agree with you. I know if i got a kindle, i would use it and probably love it! I have contemplated getting one over and over -- one of my best friends is a huge reader too, and she got one and never looked back. I'm just sad that the physical aspect of stopping by a bookstore with a good cup of coffee to wander around and see what piques my interest will be gone. I love the feel of bookstores, both new and used -- and i love touching and leafing through some options before i settle on a new book. For me, browsing the internet just doesn't do it.
 

violet3

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Galateia|1312679474|2985670 said:
I'd like to see the big chain stores disappear and little indie stores come back for the niche market of hard copy books.

E-readers are really changing how books are published and allows little publishing houses a fighting chance against the big juggernauts.
i totally agree with this above. I would also love to see the big chains drop out and the little guy get another chance to resurge in the book world. I don't, however, think it will change publishing industry -- conglomeration has become so large the the big guys will be the publishing houses i think. The independent bookstores however, will probably have a chance at coming back.

I also love sharing books with friends - i usually use the phrase "pass it on!" I love to get a book, and if i find it really stimulating, give it to a friend. I then encourage them to pass it to whomever they think would love it as well. Many of my friends and I have gotten to share books in this way. My friend who now has her kindle loves it, but i'm sad we can't share the books any more. She has such great suggestions on what to read but they're all on her kindle.
 

jstarfireb

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I don't consider myself an avid reader, but I love sitting in a Borders or Barnes and Noble, drinking coffee, and flipping through magazines or short books. I also remember studying at these stores a lot when I was in med school, just for a change of scenery. I honestly wondered how they stayed in business with so many people looking at their books but so few people actually buying them. It's a shame to see Borders coming to an end, and I feel a bit guilty for being part of the problem. I hope other stores don't follow suit. That said, it would be nice to see the mom and pop bookstores come back.
 

zoebartlett

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I was recently waiting for an appt. and the woman I was sitting next to in the waiting room saw that I was reading a hardcover from the library. She was reading on her Kindle. She looked over at me and said, "What, you're not reading on an e-reader?! I thought everyone had them by now!" I told her that yes, I might be behind the times but I'm not ready to give up reading real books. She showed me how her Kindle worked, and while they do interest me, I'm not getting one yet. I'll hold out as long as I can. I did the same thing with my cell phone, too. She laughed and then we went back to our own books.
 

Circe

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Oh, such a good topic!

I'm a big reader. On average, I read a book a day (I say "on average" to even out the days when it's three at once vs. two or three days when I haven't got the time). Commensurately, my house reflects this: every square inch of wall space that isn't needed for, like, a place to put other, necessary furniture, holds a bookcase. There is a bookcase in the bathroom. I have been known to store books in the oven or freezer when particularly pressed for time. And so on. And yet ... once I got a Nook, I sort of became a convert. Why?

Well, for one thing, I realized that I was holding on to an awful lot of paper books for no better reason than being a hoarder. Large chunks of my collection are irreplaceable, don't get me wrong: the rare books, the first editions and art books, the topic-specific research texts, the favorites that I read over and over and over. But the crappy chick-lit books that I bought when I thought I'd be teaching a chick-lit course? The books from my favorite authors that don't live up to the rest of their oevre? Those have gots to go, and having an e-reader gives me the security of knowing that, yes, I can get rid of them without simply buying them again if I ever want to re-read them in the future - and this time, without losing space!

So, before my September move, I'm having a book giveaway house-cooling party. More wall-space means more art!

And it doesn't mean I'm not supporting traditional publishers or physical bookstores: I'm just doing so in a different way, as my buying the latest best-seller for less on the Nook just means I have MORE money for the big art books or the small press releases. I am seeing a huge resurgence in small press and self-published and niche bookstores, and it makes me so happy. Quirk Books? Tachyon Press? Small Beer Press? All putting out absolutely gorgeous editions in small print runs, and I am delighted to snap them up. Bank Street Children's Books, Forbidden Planet, the little used bookstore around the corner? Still great places to shop and special order.

I figure the market will find a new balance eventually: this just gives us more ways in which to approach it. Frankly, I'm happier with this than I ever was with the big-box monopoly ....
 

zoebartlett

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Circe -- I'm somewhat of a book hoarder too, but I mostly hang onto education books and other teacher books. I've been slowly weeding through them but I can't seem to part with them for some reason. I might need them someday, right? They're in our garage right now, not having seen my classroom in a year, but still...
 
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