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The fate of bookstores
#21
RE: The fate of bookstores
(November 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm)Deidre32 Wrote: Or are there bookstores (plural) left? Borders has closed, and the only 'big box' store left (I think?) is Barnes & Noble. With all the new available reading gadgets on the market, ie: the nook, kindle, etc...what do you think will happen to bookstores, as we know? Do you think they'll eventually close their doors, and online services like amazon and such will be the only games in town?

I still enjoy walking through a book store, large or small, with a warm beverage in hand, smelling the aroma of new books. Violin

Sincerely,
An extremely happy (yet, nostalgic) Kindle Owner


Even Barnes & Noble is fighting a losing rear guard battle against encroaching bankruptcy. Here in Northern LA, several have closed, to be temporaily replaced by Crown books. I have to drive 20-30 minutes just to find one.
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#22
RE: The fate of bookstores
So, I love my kindle. I also love bookstores. And I skimmed through this thread and noticed most people were talking about literature - fiction and poetry and the like. What about non-fiction?

The thing about books is...not all of them are great to have on a digital device. Artbooks of collected works from your favorite artists, gardening books, reference tomes, textbooks, cookbooks, etc - these suck on the small screens of a phone or tablet, and you can't feasibly haul your large monitor around everywhere.

Also, there are people like us who want the nice leather bound versions of books we love. I still carry around my Lord of the Rings trilogy - a heavy tome with a built in ribbon bookmark and Alan Lee's ethereal watercolor illustrations and the perfect silky sort of paper to flip through. Who would give up that tactile experience?

I have a book called "Aphrodite: a Memoir of the Senses," which traces the history of (alleged) aphrodisiacs throughout the world, with bawdy little pencil and water color illustrations in the corners and different fonts to celebrate the poems devoted to food and rapture - they wouldn't translate to Kindle very well. And there's a scent that rises up from the thick, slick pages, like old perfume from antique cloth, a faint odor of broth and spices. Opening that book and inhaling that fragrance while reading Isabelle Allende's sensuous prose...for just a moment, I am transfigured. Who would give that up completely?

Not any of the millions of bibliophiles still left.

So I think stores will stay around, but I think books will get more expensive. I'm sort of okay with that.

Oh, also, Deidre, there are two excellent book podcasts which sometimes discuss this 'problem': Books on the Nightstand and Book Riot.
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#23
RE: The fate of bookstores
(November 16, 2013 at 6:03 pm)Captain Colostomy Wrote: Oh, and Playboy centerfolds.

There's this new thing you need to check out. It's called internet porn.



Christian apologetics is the art of rolling a dog turd in sugar and selling it as a donut.
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#24
RE: The fate of bookstores
(November 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm)thesummerqueen Wrote: So, I love my kindle. I also love bookstores. And I skimmed through this thread and noticed most people were talking about literature - fiction and poetry and the like. What about non-fiction?

The thing about books is...not all of them are great to have on a digital device. Artbooks of collected works from your favorite artists, gardening books, reference tomes, textbooks, cookbooks, etc - these suck on the small screens of a phone or tablet, and you can't feasibly haul your large monitor around everywhere.

Also, there are people like us who want the nice leather bound versions of books we love. I still carry around my Lord of the Rings trilogy - a heavy tome with a built in ribbon bookmark and Alan Lee's ethereal watercolor illustrations and the perfect silky sort of paper to flip through. Who would give up that tactile experience?

I have a book called "Aphrodite: a Memoir of the Senses," which traces the history of (alleged) aphrodisiacs throughout the world, with bawdy little pencil and water color illustrations in the corners and different fonts to celebrate the poems devoted to food and rapture - they wouldn't translate to Kindle very well. And there's a scent that rises up from the thick, slick pages, like old perfume from antique cloth, a faint odor of broth and spices. Opening that book and inhaling that fragrance while reading Isabelle Allende's sensuous prose...for just a moment, I am transfigured. Who would give that up completely?

Not any of the millions of bibliophiles still left.

So I think stores will stay around, but I think books will get more expensive. I'm sort of okay with that.

Oh, also, Deidre, there are two excellent book podcasts which sometimes discuss this 'problem': Books on the Nightstand and Book Riot.

Thank you for telling me about the podcasts, I should look them up. I wanted to reply about the non fiction choices and the kindle. I love non fiction, it's mainly all I ever read, and the kindle has nice selections, everything coming through amazon. The nice thing is, once you select a book, it will continuously provide you with new options ...''if you liked this book, you'll like that book...'' kind of thing. It's pretty cool. Pros and cons to books and kindles. lol
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#25
RE: The fate of bookstores
(November 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm)Deidre32 Wrote: I still enjoy walking through a book store, large or small, with a warm beverage in hand, smelling the aroma of new books. Violin

Rather... I'm in love with the aroma of old books. It adds so much to the experience, if you ask me.

While bookstores will have a very hard time with the general populace, I very much enjoy reading. I just happen to also very much enjoy video games, movies, and other media.

I'd go outside a hell of a lot more if it wasn't such a bleeding furnace... and the air outside smells.
Please give me a home where cloud buffalo roam
Where the dear and the strangers can play
Where sometimes is heard a discouraging word
But the skies are not stormy all day
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#26
RE: The fate of bookstores
(November 21, 2013 at 7:33 pm)Deidre32 Wrote: Thank you for telling me about the podcasts, I should look them up. I wanted to reply about the non fiction choices and the kindle. I love non fiction, it's mainly all I ever read, and the kindle has nice selections, everything coming through amazon. The nice thing is, once you select a book, it will continuously provide you with new options ...''if you liked this book, you'll like that book...'' kind of thing. It's pretty cool. Pros and cons to books and kindles. lol

They sound a bit dry at first, but once you get used to that I find the statistics they bring up to be interesting, and it's nice to get recommendations of new books from people who work in publishing.

I agree whole-heartedly about Amazon's usefulness, particularly because Goodreads' recommendation algorithms sometimes make me scratch my head. Amazon's are a lot better. Now, I've read a lot of non-fiction on the kindle, but only the ones which don't really need pictures or graphs to demonstrate a point - or use very little of it. The sorts of books I mentioned, I can buy those in droves because I really just don't like reading them on a tablet device - not the color sort, or on my very old black and white kindle (obviously).

Having stepped into photography, I know that food photography in particular is a Very Big Thing. Cookbooks can sometimes be works of art in themselves, and people love to look at them. That reason alone makes me think bookstores will continue to exist, because people will want to peruse the things they want before they will buy them, rather than just getting a sample on the net - much like malls continue to exist. There will just be fewer and further between. And I'm still kinda okay with that, because I feel like it would add to the experience - making a specific driving pilgrimage to a bookstore where you enjoy your hot beverage, and maybe get to smell old AND new books.
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#27
RE: The fate of bookstores
I think ultimately books will one day go the way of the do do.

If we think about costs of producing a book vis that of an online book through a kindle or whatever, then really, the logical option from a financial perspective is to produce the online format.

Also, less trees being cut down = good for everyone!

I'm still sad about the dwindling popularity of hard copy books. But as we evolve socially and technologically, I think some things will just disappear. I just hope reading levels don't drop as a result!
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#28
RE: The fate of bookstores
(November 22, 2013 at 9:31 am)Fidel_Castronaut Wrote: I think ultimately books will one day go the way of the do do.

If we think about costs of producing a book vis that of an online book through a kindle or whatever, then really, the logical option from a financial perspective is to produce the online format.

Logic has nothing to do with production - otherwise, dollar store shit wouldn't exist. Kids don't need all those toys, yet people keep making them and parents keep stuffing stockings with them.


(November 22, 2013 at 9:31 am)Fidel_Castronaut Wrote: Also, less trees being cut down = good for everyone!

Something of a misunderstanding about environmentalism - we farm trees now for paper for the most part. If we wanted to end clear-cutting, we'd have to change the way we structure housing, and agriculture. We cut down more trees for suburbia and for cattle than we do to make books.
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#29
RE: The fate of bookstores
(November 22, 2013 at 9:43 am)thesummerqueen Wrote:
(November 22, 2013 at 9:31 am)Fidel_Castronaut Wrote: I think ultimately books will one day go the way of the do do.

If we think about costs of producing a book vis that of an online book through a kindle or whatever, then really, the logical option from a financial perspective is to produce the online format.

Logic has nothing to do with production - otherwise, dollar store shit wouldn't exist. Kids don't need all those toys, yet people keep making them and parents keep stuffing stockings with them.


(November 22, 2013 at 9:31 am)Fidel_Castronaut Wrote: Also, less trees being cut down = good for everyone!

Something of a misunderstanding about environmentalism - we farm trees now for paper for the most part. If we wanted to end clear-cutting, we'd have to change the way we structure housing, and agriculture. We cut down more trees for suburbia and for cattle than we do to make books.

I know how trees are farmed, and it's good for a country like the US that's got vast swathes of land in which trees can be farmed through generations.

The UK however has very little forestry in which to farm left, which is why almost all out publications use imported pulp from elsewhere around the world. Cutting this out alone would save on logistical costs which can be astronomical. I agree with your point re: farming and house production (very few houses in England utilise wood as their main structural component) and I concede that point. However, even if more trees are cut down for purpose x than purpose y, eliminating purpose y from the production chain still produces a net benefit (Environmentally speaking, assuming ceteris paribus for other production purposes).

I disagree regarding production; I think logic is 100% linked to it. IT just depends on the unit of utility one is looking to get out of it or, rather, what one is measuring their margins against.

Cheap plastic toys with relatively little overheads and costs of production but with large mark-ups are a cash cow for manufactures. I would state as a fact that can be backed up with relevant figures that margins for book production, from hardback (considerably more expensive than paperback) through to paper journals and even newspapers are much tighter, and diminishing year on year as production values increase and general circulation decreases.

I am more than happy to be proven incorrect if figures can be shown that disprove my theory. Publishers are hitting the wall, and book stores are suffering as a result. It's a fact that there is now only 1 big book retailer left in the UK which has stores throughout the country - all the others are shut. I used to work for it (Waterstones, owned by Russians after the original owners decided to sell off the business due to lack of sales), and the mark-up for selling a book in store vis selling it online was around £3 for a paperback (retail average for £7.99 in stores, around £4.99 online).

Consumers are beginning to move away from book sales at increasing rates, so much so waterstones now actually sells the Kindle in its stores to make up the short fall. It's actually signed it's own death warrant because of it though as repeated business through an online format will kill the demand for hard copy formats in the medium to long term.
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#30
RE: The fate of bookstores
(November 22, 2013 at 9:51 am)Fidel_Castronaut Wrote: I am more than happy to be proven incorrect if figures can be shown that disprove my theory.

It's less about whether or not production costs are higher or lower than the fact that people are willing to pay for them, no matter what the costs are, you see. That's what I'm saying. People are still willing to pay for books, and I really don't see that going away any time soon...except perhaps in some incredibly distant future when we're all living on asteroids.

Which isn't to say that businesses won't fail as people buy more e-books, just that they won't die completely.
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