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(Christian Science Monitor)   Independent bookstores see renaissance, maybe because they are the only place adults can go without having to listen to smug kids asking "what's a book?"   (csmonitor.com) divider line 12
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1017 clicks; posted to Business » on 17 Mar 2013 at 4:04 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-17 04:28:27 PM  
4 votes:
I think it also has something to do with the fact that many of the big box bookstores went out of business and the small indie bookstore is the only game in town anymore.
2013-03-17 08:30:51 PM  
2 votes:
It's because Borders went away. Has nothing to do with any sort of mass thirst for shiatty bookstores.
2013-03-17 03:48:58 PM  
2 votes:

hubiestubert: Well, there's also the fact that those stores have a vested interest in you finding what you want, and even order it for you. Amazon is nice and all, but there's the satisfaction of having a book directly in your hot little hands.


Not only that, but I find that browsing for books on Amazon is not nearly as fun or interesting as wandering around a book store and picking something up and flipping through it, reading a few paragraphs here and there - from ANY part of the book you choose and then just buying it.

And while Amazon can deliver things with amazing speed, if you're in a bookstore, you can walk out of there with a book right then and there.

If you've ever found yourself stuck in some unfamiliar town and have nothing to do (maybe you're there for work - who knows?) a bookstore is a great place to kill time.
2013-03-17 02:57:22 PM  
2 votes:
Well, there's also the fact that those stores have a vested interest in you finding what you want, and even order it for you. Amazon is nice and all, but there's the satisfaction of having a book directly in your hot little hands.
2013-03-18 08:44:33 AM  
1 votes:
My bookstore is contained w/in my Samsung Galaxy Tab.

I'm reading a paper copy of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, but I'm getting through my Clarke Ashton Smith short story collection through Kindle. I've come to prefer the tablet over the paper book. Being flat, lit, light, and able to rest comfortably in one hand are huge plusses for the tab.

The only thing I really miss about real books is the same with CDs and LPs: the cover artwork.
2013-03-17 11:01:39 PM  
1 votes:
brantgoose

Video may have not killed the radio star, but you have to admit people were very surprised that Susan Boyle was such a good singer because of how ugly she is.

It's very rare that you see an ugly new singer on American Idolatry or The Voice now a days.
2013-03-17 07:41:51 PM  
1 votes:

FizixJunkee: brantgoose: My theory is that books will survive by 1) going up-market like all obsolete or archaic goods and services; and 2) concentrating on what they do better than e-books.

This.


They will go down-market as well.

Judging from what's on the shelves, I take it that many people purchase a Harlequin romance as an impulse buy at Wal-Mart, Meijer, or Kroger.

I doubt many people would add a Harlequin e-book to their shopping cart when perusing Amazon, Google Play Books, or iBooks.
2013-03-17 07:27:33 PM  
1 votes:
My theory is that books will survive by 1) going up-market like all obsolete or archaic goods and services; and 2) concentrating on what they do better than e-books.

When the automobile replaced horses, horses became luxury items and carriages still more so. You have rich aristocrats and would-be society types who go into horse-flesh big time because it is obsolete and luxury rather than a mundane necessity. By reverse snobbery a billionaire might drive an old Ford, but his wife is collecting tropheys for her dressage team or his daughters are into Bridle Paths and steeplechase.

The same happened to many other articles, such as boar bristle shaving brushes and fountain pens with fancy nibs.

On the other hand, there will be more lavish books--limited editions with fancy binding, paper, inks, illustration. There will also be relatively more comic books and cartoon books--because those don't really work all that well in electronic form--I've got some good examples and some bad examples--cartoons with too much pixelation, cartoons of great beauty but too large for my screens (Little Nemo in Slumberland is too big to read in the original broadsheet format let alone on a 27 inch screen--you need HD floor model televisions for the right size but then they're too far away.)

Far from "what's a book?" I expect books to go the way of radio. Remember radio? It never really went away, did it? You can listen to a million stations on line and they're no worse than over-air broadcasts and sometimes better, but people still have radios in their cars and they still play local stations as well as the hundreds of rather repetitious and redundant stations you can pay extra to get.

Television may well die although it actually still works much better than slow internet connections with constant pixilation and screen freezes, but I don't expect books to die.

I got rid of several encyclopedias and dictionaries for shelf space, but I still love to lie down or sit down and read. I've bought a number of books on both Kindle and paper. The right price for an e-book is probably about the difference between what you now pay for a paper book and the cost of a book before competition from electronic media. Buy both for the price of one.

No doubt, the prices should go down, but the paper shouldn't totally vanish. And it hasn't. People are buying more paper than ever. Electronics can't be counted on to be around when you need them. They fail too often and DRM and other crap make it doubtful if you are really buying anything. You are only renting, and the rental model didn't last long in the XIXth century and won't last long in the XXIst, I expect.

In the 1700s a crappy three volume novel bound in calf would have cost you about a week's wages for a well-paid worker. Now you can get infinite amounts of crappy fiction for next to nothing. But the really good books, the ones that have been filtered through editors, publishers, critics and audiences, are still worth something and always will be. And so is the physical book, the lovely object that appeals to all the senses including touch and smell and hearing as you rustle through the pages.

Bookstores are like little clubs for random people who love books. Unfortunately, people who love books often love completely different books. It's not quite as social as a football team or a restaurant--we all have our own private loves and hates. But a bookstore is a very nice place to spend or piss away a lot of time and money.

As usual, the niche players adapt and survive, while the middle-of-the-roaders get squashed. Independant bookstores and online mega-markets are doing fine, but a lot of chains have gone down in the time I have been reading books.

We've lost Blockbusters, Rogers Video, and now the Rideau Center theatres (which close this month) but we still have more bookstores in this town than the Province of New Brunswick, which is pretty much the same population--that's about 65, maybe a few more or less.

Video did not kill the radio star. It's a bum rap. And it didn't kill TV or cable or books or even newspapers. People are reading more newspapers than ever, although Old Europe and Old America may be losing subscribers to free news business models that steal their advertising.

I'm saddened by the disappearance of some of the old commerce, because it was local and healthy for cities and towns, but I would really mourn the loss of small and used bookstores. And I prefer to line up for a cashier rather than line up even longer to do his or her job myself for no pay.

I can't even pay my bills at the cash point in the food court any more. We risk a hollowing out of everything if we don't make wise consumer choices rather than sell out for pennies, now also obsolete.
2013-03-17 07:25:57 PM  
1 votes:
Barnes and Noble and Borders used to take a ton of their business.  Not so much anymore.
2013-03-17 06:35:26 PM  
1 votes:
I buy books from indy bookstores through Amazon, thus making everyone happy.  Farking Barnes and Noble....

"Do you have our farkity fark savings card?"

"No."  But I know what's coming as I think to myself "Dude, I'm here to pass time with my daughter and I'm just buying a 99 cent kids book for her.  I've also already waited in line five minutes since you're the only cashier and the 80 year old woman two customers ago wrote a farking check as if she was deciphering the Dead Sea Scrolls.

"OK, well it can save 10% on this purchase..."

To Myself:  "This is why I shop online."

I know the guy's going to get in trouble if he doesn't ask, and I know he thinks it's as absurd as I do.  But man I hate the song and dance.
2013-03-17 04:35:24 PM  
1 votes:

Happy Hours: hubiestubert: Well, there's also the fact that those stores have a vested interest in you finding what you want, and even order it for you. Amazon is nice and all, but there's the satisfaction of having a book directly in your hot little hands.

Not only that, but I find that browsing for books on Amazon is not nearly as fun or interesting as wandering around a book store and picking something up and flipping through it, reading a few paragraphs here and there - from ANY part of the book you choose and then just buying it.

And while Amazon can deliver things with amazing speed, if you're in a bookstore, you can walk out of there with a book right then and there.

If you've ever found yourself stuck in some unfamiliar town and have nothing to do (maybe you're there for work - who knows?) a bookstore is a great place to kill time.


Dammit, this.

There isn't a independent non-niche new bookstore in my freaking college town anymore.  It sucks.

At least we've got a good library with a decent new selection, I suppose.  And one might be opening.  Sigh.  Right now it's just Barnes and Noble, and their selection sucks.  Their book selection, I mean.  If I want a generic lame gift marginally related to writing or reading I'm set.
2013-03-17 04:01:15 PM  
1 votes:

Happy Hours: hubiestubert: Well, there's also the fact that those stores have a vested interest in you finding what you want, and even order it for you. Amazon is nice and all, but there's the satisfaction of having a book directly in your hot little hands.

Not only that, but I find that browsing for books on Amazon is not nearly as fun or interesting as wandering around a book store and picking something up and flipping through it, reading a few paragraphs here and there - from ANY part of the book you choose and then just buying it.

And while Amazon can deliver things with amazing speed, if you're in a bookstore, you can walk out of there with a book right then and there.

If you've ever found yourself stuck in some unfamiliar town and have nothing to do (maybe you're there for work - who knows?) a bookstore is a great place to kill time.


Plus some of the independents I've been too lately have started stocking out of print used books.

/I finally found a copy of "On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors"
 
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