I live in a city of bookstores. It seem there’s always one just around the corner or on the next block. It’s wonderful for someone like me who tends to enjoy bookstores the way others enjoy gardens.
What’s interesting, is that I don’t pass that many major bookstore chains. The few that remain seem to sell a lot more than just books. Merchandise, toys, and food have at least as much space as the books on the shelves.
I can’t help but wonder what the landscape will look like in ten years.
Will we have bookstores?
I think we will, but I’d be surprised if many of them were major chains. If we look at the movie industry, the major players like Blockbuster and Rogers Video closed first. Up until even a year ago I remember passing by the odd independent movie store. Though I have to admit it’s been several years since I’ve even owned a DVD player, let alone rented a movie.
One thing I realize is a lack of bookstores doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of physical books. Most of the people I know who buy books, buy a lot of them online. I think that might stem from dwindling supply in stores, as well as the larger discounts the digital retailers tend to offer.
What do you think? Will independent bookstores thrive in the new climate? Will our kids, and our kid’s kids have bookstores? Or will books become things purchased online or in a few aisles at the backs of specialty shops?