I read an article recently on the Gothamist that a well known New York Barnes and Noble location is shutting down. This article followed up on the tale end of a blog post I read on one of my fellow blogger's site RD Meyer's Writes.
Is it just me or is this a little disconcerting?
By 2011, all Border's bookstores had shutdown and as a result, left a very vacant building in an outdoor mall where I live and in many other cities. For me, Borders was the only bookstore in the little mall and I noticed an immediate drop in mall traffic. A beautiful Friday night felt more like a Wednesday morning. But luckily, a Barnes and Noble took it's place and it revived the mall traffic.
But I wonder now how long this will last and how many more Barnes and Nobles will have to close before it meets the fate of Borders? The national chain bookstores are no longer a staple
in our society and while it may seem like the independents have finally won, I'm not so sure anymore.
What's taking it's place is the rise in ebook sales. Just think of Amazon's Kindle (which so far, Barnes and Noble has failed to compete with) that has risen in sales (up 8 percent from last year according to CNET).
So far I haven't adapted to ereading. I still love the smell and feel of a real book and I'm not sure that will ever change (even when my future grandkids say to me, "Grandma, what's those blocks with paper in them?"). But I haven't been giving my money to Barnes and Noble either (or really, any store). I'm a library kind of girl and even the libraries are beginning to catch on the e-trend.
What does this mean for the bookstore era? Will we soon be downloading ebooks at redbox locations?
More than what this means for ebooks and books in general, as I'm sure books will change with the times like music had to change. But is there a need for bookstores anymore or are old
fashion book readers like me just hanging onto an era?