Monday, January 14, 2013

The Wayward Herald: Is The End Nigh For Brick & Mortar Bookstores?

This past week, the Wayward Herald came across a post in The Passive Voice about the closing of a number of Barnes & Noble bookstores across the U.S. The numbers quoted in the post, which comes from an article at Melville House titled The Wrong Goodbye of Barnes & Noble, are alarming:
If you include the company’s college stores, this is going to mean 1362 bookstores disappearing from the American landscape — less than two years after 686 Borders stores disappeared.
I hope the grim reaper is not coming for brick & mortar bookstores!
I truly hope the news is not as bad as it sounds. I am a huge fan of bookstores and adored the Borders not far from my house. When it closed, all I had left was a local Barnes & Noble, which is still a fantastic store. Yet if it were to close, I don’t think there would be a bookstore within five miles of my home – and I live in the heart of a major U.S. city!

Back in September of 2011, I wrote about the seemingly hard reality that bookstores as we know them are ceasing to exist. As much as I appreciate the online booksellers that have created so many opportunities for writers, I really hope the brick and mortar stores hang on. Maybe it won’t be the giants like Barnes & Noble. Perhaps it will be the reemergence of small, independent bookstores. But whatever it is, I pray it happens because I don’t want to imagine a world where you can’t walk into a real bookstore with a hot cup of coffee and browse for new books.

In other news, and ironically on the subject of online booksellers, Enoch’s Device is now available on Smashwords and hopefully will be available soon on Apple’s iBooks! Also, you can read one of the first reviews of Enoch’s Device here.

Until next week, good tidings and good day!

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