Dragonfly Words

Do e-books signal the end for Independent booksellers? | July 29, 2010

One of the biggest losses to the book community is that of small, independent bookstores. I love them so much that one of my dreams has always been to open an independent bookstore of my own. While the fancy coffee drinks and perfectly placed chairs at the large chains contribute to the book shopping experience in their own way, there is a generic feel to them that takes away from the experience. Give me a ratty chair, shelves crammed with books, and good cup of coffee or tea and I would be far happier, even if I am paying a bit more for my books.

The following article from Boston Business Journal, Independent bookseller at ‘War and Peace’ with e-books, questions whether e-books are further exasperating the problem of the loss of the independent bookseller. The conclusion suggests that the average customer of the independent bookseller is not the average customer of e-books. Do you think this is actually the case?

I still love a real book, but frankly I don’t have the space to buy any more unless I find them to be extremely readworthy. The younger generations are growing up storing all of their data electronically.Why waste the space storing CDs, DVDs, or books when there are devices that can hold it all and them some and barely take up any space? I bet if we could store our clothing inside an eletronic device and have it projected onto our bodies, most of the younger generations would buy into it in a heartbeat.

This is not to say that I think e-books will wipe out real books. There will always be those who love real books, myself included. Perhaps, though, the e-books will work in favor of the independent booksellers by shifting the focus of the large chains towards carrying more and more e-books and less and less hard copies. Maybe e-books are actually the resurrection of the independent bookseller. Wouldn’t that be something?

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