Are book stores doomed?

Borders, who has 399 stores nationwide including 2 in Santa Rosa, is closing all of their stores.  Their failure to adapt to customer’s ever-changing shopping habits was said to be responsible for this sudden decision.  Having filed for bankruptcy in February, it just wasn’t enough to save the book giant from folding.  The liquidation sale could start as soon as Friday, and it’s expected they’ll be out of business by September.

Does this most recent bookstore closure mark the beginning of the end for the almighty book?  What does this mean for our mom and pop bookstores?

With internet sites like Amazon who offer new and used books for much less than your regular walk-in store, plus their ability to carry lesser known titles in their huge wherehouses, the web has become a favored place for many to purchase their reading material.  And then there are the e-readers.  Kobo, Nook, Kindle…  The ease of the e-reader leaves more space on the bookshelf, and the ability to carry your whole library on a convenient tablet. 

But then there are people like me who could inhale the scent of a bookstore all day long.  To see rows and rows of book and be able to pick one up and flip through the pages….  Am I one of a dying breed of people who still love the weight of a good book in my hands? 

Is this a sign that all book stores are doomed?


Submitted by: Crissi | Submit your find

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6 Responses

  1. Terry 19. Jul, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    I will always love the physical feel of a book in my hand, something that will no run out of batteries or be destroyed if it gets dropped or wet, and I definitely do not think it’s a sign all bookstores are doomed. I have worked the last 10 years at used bookstore Paperbacks Unlimited in Rincon Valley, which is approaching 40 years in Sonoma County (oldest bookstore still here) and we are still going strong. Amazon.com and stores like Costco, Wal-Mart and Target which greatly discount books upon their release have caused the most harm to stores like Borders and much smaller independent new bookstores.

    While it’s a shame to see any bookstore close, I can only hope this will help independent new bookstores like Copperfields get an increase in business.

  2. Karen 21. Jul, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    I agree that a real book in your hand can not compare to the new e-books and it will take several generations to replace them. Most people that I know, even younger kids and teens would rather have the paper book. Although I love the idea of shopping at local independent bookstores, why would I spend
    $20 on book when I can get it for $15 or even $10 elsewhere. I try to support local businesses but I can not afford to be altruistic and pay considerably more for the same product just so I can “shop local”. And with the exception of Backdoor Records, which also closed recently, I find that many smaller store are unable and many times unwilling to locate and order items that are not usually carried in their store. I realize that it is not always possible to obtain everything that a customer wants but many smaller store will not even try and will dismiss you for even asking. I see people using used bookstores and the library more instead of paying full price for books, especally in these bad economic times.

  3. smurf 22. Jul, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    I too love books, but the move to e-books is inevitable. I think it will take quite some time before books are completely gone. But Stephen King is already planning an e-reader only book, so I’m sure more will follow.

    I have a kindle, but still have my library of paper books, and still buy paper books for the series I am collecting. The rest are e-books. With so many freebies on Amazon each day, I really never have to BUY a book again!

    As for books not getting destroyed when wet, talk to me after you have dropped on into the hot tub! LOL

  4. Katie 27. Jul, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    I love books. I think it will be very hard for me to switch to e-books though. It is too different. I love going to used book stores and buying books for cheap. Why pay $15 for an e-book, when I can check it out from the library for free, buy it at the used bookstore for under $5 or borrow from a friend? With e-books, I can’t trade them in when I am done (which I rarely do to my precious books!).

    The only reason I could every see switching over is due to my wrists, I have a slight case of carpal tunnel, and sometimes it is hard to hold a book (especially those like Land of the Painted Caves, or Harry Potter, when they are several hundreds of pages long).

    My last big purchase of books was from the bookstore that went out of business in RP, I spent a good $25 buying 5 bags of books. Plenty of kids, teens, and adult books for our family (and even more to give the Boys & Girls Clubs). Can’t do that with e-books…..

  5. L 24. Aug, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    How about those beautiful big coffee table books with all the great pictures in them? You really have to be able to look thru the book to see if you want to buy it. Where will we be able to do that?

  6. Books 16. Feb, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    Traditional (paper books) will always have a place in society.

    It is hard to replace the feel of a real book with one on a machine. There are a few book genres that may succumb to the new technology over time, and be less available as paper copies (maybe), but there will always be those who want the real thing. Whether that be a rare book, or just as a price of furniture on a desk, I think books will always have place.

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