Really, I do. I know it is kind of extreme. I don’t even know if people “reading” books on gadgets is the cause of the “local” Borders going down. I’m sure it didn’t help. Besides, I will really miss that bookstore, and somebody has to pay for my inconvenience.
For those of you who don’t know, Borders is a Michigan based all-encompassing bookstore chain like Barns and Noble. It is going out of business. I used to frequent the Borders in Traverse City, and now I will have to go downtown to a much, much smaller bookstore. Except I probably won’t because I hate downtown traffic and the store is 75% smaller. I don’t think they even have a section for comic books.
While I probably won’t know all of the reasons the chain is closing, the usual culprits, online booksellers and “eBooks”, were implicated. Since their arrival, both have been viewed as potential bookstore assassins. Some even suggest “eBooks” might eventually make print books obsolete.
The online bookstore “threat” is certainly real. No single store could ever, or would want to, have the sheer selection of Amazon.com. You can buy almost anything from Amazon; usually cheaper. It is hard to compete with that.
I would argue that online booksellers are great if you know what you want, but not very fun to browse. Amazon and other sites give you lots of suggestions based on what you’ve looked at and purchased, but you’ll never find that “odd” book you’ve never heard of before unless you’re doing some very serious clicking. I can’t count the number of books I’ve bought and series’ I started reading that I’d never heard of until I saw it on a bookstore shelf.
As far as the “eBooks” go, let me tell you something, chumps. Electronics become obsolete. Books don’t.
Think of how soon that Nook or Kindle will have to be replaced to continue downloading books in the next 10 years? How soon will “book” formats change, making your old books unreadable on new readers? Do all readers read all “eBooks”; no. How many “eBook” sellers carry more than the classics and currently popular books? How does a nice tabletop art book carry over to digital format?
I’ll concede there are situations in which “eBooks” are very handy. I can see people who travel an awful lot (i.e. for a living) finding them very convenient. However, there are way, way too many reasons why they can’t replace books.