The Future of the Bookstore
The digital onslaught of e-books and Amazon retailers has put bookstores in a previously unthought-of predicament. With the amount of digital reading devices and online purchases of prose exponentially increasing, the future of the classic bookstore is selective and, ultimately, unclear. Though possible, a bookstore’s success will be heavily influenced by its specialization, targeted audience, and atmospheric culture, among other factors. Reported by BookScan, the sale of print books has declined by 22% since 2008, and the purchase of these books in-store is suggested to have fallen even more than that. With these facts and figures, what is the future of the bookstore? This is the question that some of the world’s leading literary agents, authors, marketing managers, and booksellers have begun to ask themselves. It is no longer a question of how to start a bookstore, but how to keep it going. Digital books are expected to outsell print titles by 2015 in Britain, says Sam Hancock, digital product manager at HarperCollins, and even sooner in America. Every time a store closes, online purchasing becomes the more convenient option left for some of its customers. This recent surge towards the use of “e-tailers”, while a threat, has been abated by loyal bound book readers around the world. Some readers prefer the feel of a book in their hands, others the
personalization of a handheld novel. Either way, there are those out there that will adhere to the traditional bookshop. A major issue with the lifespan of paper books is the widening availability of online literature, free of charge. Where publishing is concerned, the Internet is both midwife and executioner. It has never been easier to reach large numbers of readers, but these readers have never felt more entitled to be informed and entertained for free. With online resources such as YouTube, The Pirate...