Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Are Bookstores Going Bye-Bye?

One of my local indie bookstores is going out of business at the end of this month. Well, actually, it's not technically one of my local bookstores. It's a family-owned-and-run shop two towns over from where I live. But it's the closest indie to my house, so I'm claiming it. At least, until the end of the month, when it won't be there anymore.

This makes me sad.

I asked the owners what made it impossible for them to stay open, and they cited the upsurge in e-reading, as well as the opening of a big-chain bookstore in the same town. With a dwindling customer base, they just couldn't keep up with rising rent costs.

Contrast this with the picture of big-chain bookstore BORDERS' bankruptcy and we have an interesting picture. Will the big chains, now pushing out the smaller mom-and-pops in some cities while going out of business in others, last much longer anyway? Are print books going the way of the video casette tape? Will bookstores become nothing more than a shopfront where customers can leaf through sample titles before downloading e-books, while sipping lattes and letting the kids run wild in the ever-expanding toy sections? Will the indie bookstores make a comeback? Or will all those bookstores be bulldozed to make way for condos?

What do you think?


  1. I remember Marty buying a book in Back to the Future 2, but I think it was in an antique store.

    Just like some people still write letters on paper, there will be some form of bookstore in existence, but the experience as we've appreciated it will be a novelty rather than the norm.

  2. God I hope not. I don't really like to think about this. I used to live in big cities, where amazing indie shops were everywhere.

    Now there is only one good one within 50 miles. It's very sad.

  3. I hope not. I remember when Borders was an Indie. It makes me sad that the store by where we live is closing. I love bookstores.

  4. I can't imagine children's books ever going exclusively electronic. The book is part of the experience, especially for younger children.

    I'm glad our tiny local bookstore is still open.

  5. No don't say that, how awful! I think we all look at a screen quite enough without all going to kindles too! And I love the feel of books, so relaxing.

  6. I hope bookstores aren't going bye-bye! However, as with all things, there is change. I'm sure things will smooth out at some point...though it seems the face of bookstores will be very different than what we're familiar with now when it's all said and done.