Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No More Bookstore

There's an old saying, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Road trip on Monday to Bozeman. Saw this. Thought the store was already closed, but stopped to take advantage of the sale.

Browsed a store with one third of the stock still shelved. Empty racks and fixtures-for-sale left room for a dance floor. If anyone be so inclined.

I know this is a major chain. I know political correctness dictates we support our small independent booksellers. I've shopped there, but Borders is not my favorite bookstore.* As I idled passed the last stacks, I started to cry.

Are eReaders to blame?

Did Kindle kill the bookstore?

A week before, I posted this on Twitter.

Feeling totally WIRED at the time, I used my iTouch to compare hardback prices of books I wanted to the Kindle price for same. A Kindle edition was routinely $5 to $10 cheaper.** I went home, bought and downloaded three books. Am I killing the bookstore to save $15?

Is it the end of the world as we know it?

I realized as I walked around the Bozeman Borders, we are in the middle of a paradigm shift.

According to experts, traditional publishing will survive. I hope they're right.

Will we like the new paradigm we're building?

There's one rugged individualist*** in my town who always walks around carrying bags of books.  I saw him at the coffee shop last week and thought, he could put all that on a Kindle and spare his back. Comes the Apocalypse, he'll be the only one with a library.

*Powell's in Portland, Oregon is my favorite bookstore.
**Kindle prices are creeping up though.
***That's what we call 'em in Montana.

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