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Old 03-31-2010, 05:35 PM   #1
Kris777
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A Bookstore drama

Interesting article:
http://www.dispatch.com/live/content...a.html?sid=101

...
Barnes&Noble executives defend the company's business model and say the rise of e-readers doesn't preclude the success of traditional bookstores.
"Physical books and bookstores will continue to be a very important part of this big industry," said William Lynch, president of Barnes&Noble.com.
"Anyone that says the physical book business is going away is just not paying attention or just doesn't know much about the industry."
...
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:14 PM   #2
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"Anyone that says the physical book business is going away is just not paying attention or just doesn't know much about the industry."

Ask Laredo Texas about that.

What's that smoke? Oh, my irony meter blew out. Drat.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:34 PM   #3
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Well there are still some very obvious circumstances in which you don't want an expensive electronic device to read on, you want a disposable paper book (traveling, on the beach, staying in a place where you don't feel the device is safe).

I'd buy a paper book if I was going somewhere I didn't think my kindle would be safe, and I prefer e-books generally. Just the disposable and low cost aspects of paper books will keep paper books around for a long while yet.
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by fugazied View Post
Well there are still some very obvious circumstances in which you don't want an expensive electronic device to read on, you want a disposable paper book (traveling, on the beach, staying in a place where you don't feel the device is safe).
+1

Another example is the large market for illustrated childrens books. You'd hardly want to give a small kid a fragile and potentially dangerous e-book in preference to a nice colourful pbook that can be thrown, chewed, scribbled on, ripped, etc and might well have pop-up panels and so on.

Cookbooks and 'coffee table' style books, where the size and clarity of illustrations are valued, also look safe for a while. There's also the consideration that people like giving physical books as gifts, and an e-file just isn't as easy to gift wrap....

I think that the extinction of pbooks simply won't happen. What will occur is a continuation of what happens anyway, which is a steady shift of market share across different delivery media, books fashions, and supplying companies. Some will fold, but others will develop viable niches.

Let's face it, most of us still use pens and paper as well as keyboards, acoustic instruments haven't been killed off by electric ones, and neither theatre, concerts, films, radio, TV etc were wiped out by the next development, despite the gloomy predictions at the time. Instead the market just shifted.

Books will be with us for a good while yet.

:
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsittingstill View Post
"Anyone that says the physical book business is going away is just not paying attention or just doesn't know much about the industry."

Ask Laredo Texas about that.

What's that smoke? Oh, my irony meter blew out. Drat.
There are plenty of types of books that don't translate well to e-formats.

Children's books, especially for very young children. Coffee-table art books. Reference works. Magazines. Comics/graphic novels. "Novelty" books--tiny books of poetry or quotes that fit in a pocket.

And it'll be quite a while before ebooks take over pbooks, even for novels & linear nonfiction. While I expect ebooks to dominate eventually, that's many years away, and possibly several decades away. (Among other problems, the lack of easy used ebook exchanges will prevent it from taking hold among adolescents, which means people won't grow up thinking of ebooks as primary reading material.)
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:55 AM   #6
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Regarding people still having a use for paper books--absolutely I agree.

I was referring to Laredo's loss of its B Daltons bookstore, which Barnes and Noble (having bought B Daltons) closed down in spite of the fact that the Laredo store was profitable. That closing left Laredo without a bookstore.

The "physical book business" "went away" from Laredo because of Barnes and Noble--hence I thought it was very ironic that their execs would say that.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris777 View Post
"Anyone that says the physical book business is going away is just not paying attention or just doesn't know much about the industry."
...
I guess Barnes & Noble was not paying attention when they closed the B&N in our town.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:25 PM   #8
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+1

Another example is the large market for illustrated childrens books. You'd hardly want to give a small kid a fragile and potentially dangerous e-book in preference to a nice colourful pbook that can be thrown, chewed, scribbled on, ripped, etc and might well have pop-up panels and so on.
Tell that to the people that let babies & toddlers play with their iPhones.
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:00 PM   #9
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What survives will be specialty bookstores where expertise and/or the type of book (Elfwreck provided a nice list above) don't translate to electronic format well.
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:18 PM   #10
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I guess Barnes & Noble was not paying attention when they closed the B&N in our town.
Large multiples closing physical stores cannot be taken as a sign of their businesses declining. Shutting stores is part of maximising profits.
This, from Bookseller.com suggests that fiction pbook sales through stores increased last year, though other genres declined - but looking at what declined, travel books, maps, atlases, I suspect that's got nothing to do with ebook growth.
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:07 PM   #11
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Large multiples closing physical stores cannot be taken as a sign of their businesses declining. Shutting stores is part of maximising profits.
Our county is the size of Delaware and we have two Books a Million in that entire area now.

I think in the case of our B&N, they couldn't strong arm a sweetheart deal since their lease was up. The sad thing was B&N said they weren't going to close that store when the local paper start publishing rumors that the lease was not going to be renewed. A B&N rep said they were here for the long term and then a month later announced they were shuttering the store.
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:20 PM   #12
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It's going to many years before pbooks disappear...

Just because you and I prefer ebooks, doesn't mean that the majority of the reading world is interested. Too expensive. Too geeky.

Local bookstore, Powell's, is doing just fine. Don't expect any changes any time soon.
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:52 PM   #13
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What do you expect someone who runs book stores to say? I sure hope book stores stick around. I like walking into a book store to browse -- maybe buy a cup of coffee. Sure, I may buy most of my books online these days, but I don't wish ill on the physical book store.

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Old 04-02-2010, 09:56 PM   #14
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I think we're being a little optimistic, here. Bricks and mortar bookstores have been declining in numbers for some years, including the hallowed specialty dealer. Magazine stores, and just the ability to buy a wide selection of magazines, has been declining for several years. Newspapers are struggling and disappearing.

What makes bookstores immune? They aren't and they will continue to "phase down" but not out. E-books are yet another reason why bookstores are under pressure and will continue to decline. It is incredibly expensive for rents, staff, inventory, electricity, advertising and promotion to run a dedicated bookshop, large or small. It's no wonder some stores now sell lawn accessories, DVDs, specialty coffee and toys where once they would have simply sold books. They do it to draw traffic because, my friends, books are not enough. And e-books don't make it any better.
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:15 AM   #15
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Tell that to the people that let babies & toddlers play with their iPhones.
I try to keep my phone away from my daughter, but I'm a sucker.

She loves the screen saver on my Nook.

I try to use a pBook to distract her. It usually works.
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