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Demise of the Bookstore 
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NitroForum Oldster
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:57 am
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Location: DC Metro
Post Demise of the Bookstore
How long will it be before there are no brick-and-mortar bookstores anywhere? I receive emails regularly from Borders and today was notified that their store in Sacramento is closing. Why they would send such an email to someone who lives on the opposite coast I don't know - 40% off is not enough of an enticement for me to fly coast to coast. :?

I digress. Borders has been in trouble for a while now and will probably go belly-up soon. I've heard the same regarding Barnes & Noble. Even the campus bookstores - which once had captive audiences - are now losing enterprises now that many students buy their textbooks online at big savings. Of course, the mom-and-pop independent shops are nearly gone by now.

How do you feel about this? I don't know how many thousands of hours I've spent in bookstores over the past 5 decades. They were always sort of a refuge where I could spend a whole afternoon discovering new authors or looking over the bestsellers or perusing magazines and newspapers. I suppose their disappearance is inevitable, and the long term prognosis for the publishing industry in general is just as dire. What are we losing? Anything of importance?

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Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:18 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:22 am
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Location: Reno, NV
Post Re: Demise of the Bookstore
Jack Kelly wrote:
How long will it be before there are no brick-and-mortar bookstores anywhere?


I'm afraid it might be soon, and that would sadden me tremendously. :-( Although I happily shop online, I also *love* to browse books in bookstores or libraries, and hate to think that those wonderful treasure troves might pass into history.

IMHO a far more worrisome trend is that the publishing industry is focusing so much of its efforts on a few blockbusters and increasingly dropping mid-list writers (many of whom write much better stuff than the blockbusters) and not keeping a backlist. I am quite certain that the industry will adjust to providing a venue for those writers; it has to. Too many of us won't buy best-selling cr*p, and there's too much money to be made servicing all those niche markets to let them go unserved. I expect POD to eventually fill much of the gap, together with new internet-based networks for publishing and distributing books, magazines, and newer forms to present written material. But there's a whole lot of pain in the transition. :/

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Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:32 pm
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