Here’s another opinion piece about bookstores. B&N getting out of the bricks and mortar? Some would say it’s karma. They were the villain not that long ago.
It seems that everyone comes at this problem from a different point of view. The challenge here is that the market is deciding on the best place to get books. That’s what it’s supposed to do. It’s not about books disappearing, it’s about the changing model of book selling.
The bookstore as the community
This bookstore closing activity is like the reverse of You’ve Got Mail. Suddenly the places that survive – even thrive – are those that have a community connection. Barnes & Noble is just an example of the type of store that is great when it comes to efficiency and selection, but when you are inside, it could be anywhere in the world.
The indie bookstore is doing okay because of what else they offer. Is it about having readings? Is it about running contests? How about having a live podcast recorded in the bookstore? How about some stand-up comedy?
The flexibility of the indie store is what gives it that charm you’ll never find in B&N or Chapters.
The death of bookstores does not equal the death of books
So we heard this about music when artists turned to digital downloads. Losing the record companies didn’t kill music. In fact, did we really lose the record companies? The form of an LP or a CD is just that, a form. As long as there’s a market, and it’s economically viable, there will be LPs and CDs available. If that’s on-line at Amazon, or in HMV it doesn’t really matter.
Books are a form of story. I read only e-books now. Although my mother just gave me a book made of paper which I will read on takeoff and landing until the FAA catches up with technology. I see the book as a format for story. Story comes in movie, TV, book, ebook, song, aural formats. The book will not die with the death of Barnes & Noble bricks and mortar.
How to save your bookstore – big box, or indie
Do I really have to say this? Buy books from them. When anyone says the market is deciding, they mean you and me. We decide by where we spend our money. If you really want that local B&N to continue, rally people to purchase the products there.