I have always loved to go to bookstores. I preferred Barnes and Noble but they were all fun to visit. I love books. I used to love to go to bookstores so I could browse all of the titles. I would sit down and page through the ones I was considering purchasing. I usually would end up buying several books.
I still buy a ton of books. Some rooms in my home are packed with different titles. However, now I almost never buy my books from a traditional bookstore.
Why? They don’t offer the kinds of books I can get elsewhere. I buy most of my books through Amazon now. I have never been a person to read fiction. I look at bookstores as a good place for fiction books but if you want to really learn something or have any kind of real selection, they lag way behind in that department.
Seth Godin recently announced he will not use a publishing house any more and made a big stir in the publishing industry. He will be self-publishing now instead of using a traditional publisher. What does self-publishing have to do with bookstores? For one thing, the traditional book store doesn’t like to carry the self-published book.
I am a big fan of the self-published book. There are so many good writers out there that have a ton of great information to share that will never get picked up by a major publishing house. Why … Because they don’t have a platform. Publishers want to publish books by authors who have a following through their speaking, their talk shows, etc. If you aren’t already well-known for something, it is almost impossible to get your work published. Because of that, a ton of good authors are being turned down and their work is not ending up in bookstores.
Where can you find those books? Places like Amazon carry a lot of them. Most of my ordering is done through Amazon because of this. I like to read a lot of “how to” books because I write a lot of “how to” books. Amazon has an incredible selection of nonfiction books available.
One book that I read that I found really helpful was written by a man who is probably in his 80’s. It wasn’t a fancy book and he probably hasn’t got a huge following, but his book was extremely useful and informative. That is the type of book that appeals to me and it would never be found in a traditional bookstore.
I think the big bookstores need to make some changes or they are going to have some serious trouble competing. Now that there are so many Kindle and Ipad devices, the traditional bookstore could offer more choices to their customer. I envision sitting on one of their soft chairs, picking up an iPad or other reading device that is hooked onto the chair somehow. ..browsing through their selection of ebooks and regular books right there in the store. If I found a regular book, I liked, I could either buy it there or have it send to my home. If I found an ebook, I could download it right there.
I think a lot of people like the social experience of the bookstore. By doing business in this way, they could continue to keep the books they have but also have all of the selection that online stores have.