We are standing on the threshold of something that befalls every person,
but with each at a different cost.
We move through the moments but are far them.
And as the night descends, it feels as if I am leaving home.
I am swept up in a sense of the missed opportunity, the lost chance, the closed door.
Barnes and Noble is set to close
hundreds of stores soon
Publishers are on a crash course learning how to survive without any volume booksellers,
and in an environment with one retailer (oh, guess) representing as much of its business as
— well, who knows? Eighty percent? More?
That alone is likely to make publishers give up on printing books —
there’s no sense in printing books if your main outlet isn’t going to order any until they sell them — and join the digital “revolution.”
But the digital revolution is facing its own inertia:
Surveys say “showrooming” — seeing a thing before buying it —
is an integral part of buying books online. One survey reported that 40% of the people who buy books online looked at them in a bookstore first.
A New York Times report by David Streitfeld two weeks ago took the notion a step further.
Noting that “the triumph of e-books over their physical brethren is not happening quite as fast as forecast,”
Streitfeld floated the idea that this may be due to the “counterintuitive possibility …
that the 2011 demise of Borders, the second-biggest chain, dealt a surprising blow to the e-book industry.
Readers could no longer see what they wanted to go home and order.”
The closing of bookstores selling print books may also be hurting the sale of ebooks.
The only logical conclusion one can draw from all this, of course,
is that if B&N goes down the entire industry is facing rough seas.
Booksellers, publishers, authors, agents, librarians, and oh yeah, readers …
B&N’s scorched earth policy of the 1990s , under-selling the indie bookstores,
has ultimately left us with,
well, scorched earth.
If the book industry is going to survive it, it’s going to take some real revolutionary activity, indeed.
What do you think?