Bookstores are closing; e-books are gaining popularity; Amazon is positioned to publish without paper; would-be authors can self-publish – reading books is not what it used to be. In her article for Sunday Business in the New York Times – The Bookstore’s Last Stand – Julie Bosman targets Barnes and Noble as the last bastion for brick and mortar publishers. Ironically, the megastore now in jeopardy was one of two (Borders now gone) that threatened the demise of independent bookstores (just like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan: Fox Books vs. The Little Shop Around the Corner).
Banking on the Nook to save their storefront operation, Barnes and Noble may have to follow Amazon, expanding into toys and games to attract customers. Evidently, books may not be enough to tempt buyers.
Independent book stores are hanging on, supported by their faithful customers, using the social media like Facebook and Twitter to connect with the electronically bent. Book Soup, conveniently positioned near the stars in West Hollywood, regularly offers book signings and discussions with those rich and famous, who also wrote books. Others, Like Politics and Prose, in Washington, D.C., maintain a following with newsletters, events, and posts that reach beyond the Beltway. Some small bookstores offer a flavor of comfort and exclusivity, and readers seek them out – like the Annapolis Bookstore on Maryland Avenue.
Do you have a favorite independent bookstore that you frequent? Have you bought a book there recently?
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