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Old 08-17-2010, 03:56 PM   #1
fjtorres
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Yet Another Bookstores are dying report

It's official; its a meme among the financial types: bookstores are doomed.
A bookstore Massacre is coming!

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/are...med-2010-08-17

Some misinformation, some accurate data, some insight, and a touch of Luddism to boot; the guy is all over the place.

But it's a slow news day.
And he does "get" that there's a tipping point coming.

I'll give'im a C+...
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:25 PM   #2
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Uhuh. So what else is new?
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:46 PM   #3
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Judging by the comments, I'm surprised that so many readers of a Wall Street Journal website are against eBooks.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:28 PM   #4
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I think that the negative comments might be due to the fact that people are emotionally attached to bookshops (as they were to record shops), and that they blame the new technology for taking them away. In reality, I expect that bookshops will change, rather than disappear. I suspect that the massive, mass-market book megastore has had its day, because that content can be replaced electronically pretty easily, while the smaller, second-hand and more esoteric bookshops still have a chance.

I remember going to Foyles in London as a youth and being overwhelmed by the massive choice etc. Going again as an adult, I had the opposite experience, because I had Amazon and abebooks to compare it with. Nowadays, I find physical bookshops a little depressing, because they have so little that I want. I doubt that the next generation will miss physical bookshops - especially the barn-like ones - very much.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:38 PM   #5
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I've had very similar experience. I remember as a young boy, when I got money for my birthday, the very first thing I'd do with it was to head to midtown Manhattan and pick out as many of the Hardy Boys books as I didn't already have and could afford. When I was done with those, it was Tom Swift and then, I don't remember what else. But I loved reading when I was a kid. I still love reading, but I remember a couple of years ago going into the big Barnes and Noble and feeling kind of let down. I guess it looked bigger and more exciting to my 10 year old eyes than it did to my then 34 year old eyes. I just got my reader and have been devouring books on it, sitting up in bed reading much later, because I've discovered so many things I want to read that I didn't have access to before (I now live in Israel so English language books are few and far between and even though I speak fluent Hebrew and own a handful of books in that language, I still very much prefer to read for pleasure in my native language).
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:43 PM   #6
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When bookstores demand such large discounts from the publisher with full returns and no time limit, is it any wonder that the only content they have is from big name authors whose publisher has put big bucks into their books? Small indie pubs and indie authors haven't got a chance.

Happily, small independent bookstores, which were a dying breed a few years back, are now making a comeback because they only have enough funds to order what they think they can sell. And many do stock indie authors.

Still, not many can compete with the ease of buying and reading an ebook.

Joyce
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:51 PM   #7
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I think people are emotionally attached to the idea of bookshops. If they were so attached in reality then bookstores wouldn't be struggling. As with anything else, people like to talk things up, but when it comes to putting their money down they'd rather go to the movies or buy a Double Big Mac Whopper platter instead of a book.

Unlike paper books, for most people, bookstores may well disappear one day soon. Already there are big cities in this country without a bookstore of their own. I live in a town of 70,000 people in NE Ohio, we have a Christian bookstore and one other bookstore I've never heard of (it may not actually exist).
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Old 08-17-2010, 07:50 PM   #8
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My all time favorite bookstore was a tiny cellar in Washington, DC.
Moonstone Bookcellars.
Nothing but Science Fiction and Fantasy.
I would only go a couple of times a year simply because it was murder on my back.
I'd walk in with a couple hundred books and walk out with a heavy box and months worth of reading.
They got put out of business by the megastores.
Them I still miss.
The megastores if they really die, not so much. (shrug)
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:44 AM   #9
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I agree with people still being hung up on the idea of bookstores.

I rarely set foot into big chain bookstores these day. Sure, I go to borders every now and again when I'm bored, but I rarely ever buy anything. New books are a little out of my budget these days, and with the price of graphic novels going up, I can't support my manga habit either.

Used bookstores, on the other hand, oh man, every time I see one, I have to go in, and almost always find something in there I want to buy, be it Game books, comics, fantasy novels or cookbooks. And being able to find something rare and awesome for dirt cheap is great too, and this is why Amazon, among others, is a great place to buy books because, well, would you rather pay $10 for something that takes a half hour to read, or pay $2 for the same thing?

Too bad some of the Ebooks I want to get are just as expensive as their physical counterparts.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:32 AM   #10
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I was always confused to see aisles and aisles of book shelfs while in a mega bookstore. Internet bookstore is better in finding the books I want. And I can check for bargain books on-line.

The only thing that I will miss is the second-hand book store, though. I enjoy the treasure-hunting and the unexpected find.
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:13 AM   #11
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There are two issues I find with book stores.

(1) The prices are outrageous. When a customer can either buy a book from the bookstore or wait 1-2 weeks for delivery and buy it from an online store (ie: bookdepository) for half the price, something is drastically wrong with the local market. If the book is that important economically speaking the desire for the book then and there outweighs the cost you'd buy it, if not you buy it online.

(2) Majority of the book stores in my state have a limited number of titles. They usually push the latest and greatest, but that isn't what I always want. Most stores will order it in for you with a 1-2 week wait, so in that case why not buy online and have it delivered to your door at half the price rather than waiting the same period of time and having to go back into the store and pay full retail?

I don't think ebooks are killing the old book stores, it is big companies that are killing them. Look at every retail market, smaller operations are closing to make way for big companies who are heavily in debt/financed. One small turn in the economy suddenly puts pressure on these big companies and they look for a blame. There used to be where I live a number of hardware stores, all individually owned, now there is one big private hardware store and the rest have been bought out and taken over by big chains (actually a number closed because they could not compete).
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:40 AM   #12
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I spend a lot of time in my local chain bookstore because it's right on my way home so it's a fun place to kill an hour or so if I am not in a particular hurry. But I don't buy every time I go.

I think part of the issue is a time one. Someone like me, I read too many books to afford to buy them all, so I used to go more for browsing and then reserve the library book. Now, I read only ebook for fiction because even if I buy I do not have space to store them all. So again I browse and then acquire later.

My mother is a much more 'typical' reader than me in that she reads slower and does not devote as much time to it. She reads maybe a book a month. So someone like her might only buy a dozen books in a whole year---and she considers herself a heavy reader! Someone like my sister in law might buy only two books a year, to read on the plane before she goes on holiday. And usually she can borrow those since she probably doesn't care that much what she reads.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solicitous View Post
There are two issues I find with book stores.

(1) The prices are outrageous. When a customer can either buy a book from the bookstore or wait 1-2 weeks for delivery and buy it from an online store (ie: bookdepository) for half the price, something is drastically wrong with the local market. If the book is that important economically speaking the desire for the book then and there outweighs the cost you'd buy it, if not you buy it online.

(2) Majority of the book stores in my state have a limited number of titles. They usually push the latest and greatest, but that isn't what I always want. Most stores will order it in for you with a 1-2 week wait, so in that case why not buy online and have it delivered to your door at half the price rather than waiting the same period of time and having to go back into the store and pay full retail?

I don't think ebooks are killing the old book stores, it is big companies that are killing them. Look at every retail market, smaller operations are closing to make way for big companies who are heavily in debt/financed. One small turn in the economy suddenly puts pressure on these big companies and they look for a blame. There used to be where I live a number of hardware stores, all individually owned, now there is one big private hardware store and the rest have been bought out and taken over by big chains (actually a number closed because they could not compete).
I usually order new books from Amazon now. If I'm not in a hurry to get a particular book, I'll put it in my wish list and use it to pad out an under $25 order so I can get the free shipping. I usually go to a new bookstore only when the chances of a book I want RIGHT NOW being in stock are reasonably good, I want to browse through books on a particular topic to ensure the one I select has the content I want/need, or to kill time by browsing through the bargain books. I quit ordering books through bookstores quite a few years ago when I ordered a book at a local Borders. They said it would take two weeks to get the book. Three weeks later, I got tired of waiting for the book, ordered it from Amazon, and received it four days later. A week later, Borders called to say the book was in.
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:18 AM   #14
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I mostly agree with the article.

Big chain bookstores are dead meat. B&N is down to 700 locations, Borders has 500, Books-A-Million 200. Waldenbooks, B. Dalton, Crown are gone. Walmart is sucking up the bestseller sales. Specialty and used stores will survive, everything else will go online or digital.

I for one don't have much sentimentality about bookstores. They're about moving product, not making the world a better place. If that's what you're looking for, I'd focus on supporting your local library.
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:43 AM   #15
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I still love to go to bookstores & look at all the books & book covers. I also use them to search out books I may want & read a few chapters before buying them for my Nook.

But I do agree bookstores are not what they used to be. Something is missing from them now. It used to be I could go & talk with the staff about books & many would know what kind I bought & let me know when books in that genre came in. Now they aren't allowed to talk with the customers more than a minute or two. By this I mean B&N.
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