New is coming out that Barnes And Noble is closing many stores. Is that supposed to be shocking? I hope not because the handwriting has been on the couch for a long time.
Those of us that have been in a "book store" in the last 20 years know that they aren't bookstores anymore. They are media centers, coffee shops and hangouts. And like all hangouts, eventually the people get tired of them.
The concept is that if you give people a place to hangout, sit and enjoy themselves, drink a coffee, read a part of a book that they will buy that book or others while they look around. That is simply backwards logic.
First, if they can hangout there and read for free, why would they pay for the book?
Second, lets assume they want to buy the book. Why pay $19.95 for it when they can get in online at Amazon for $9.99 or less?
They won't. So, while Barnes and Noble, Borders, Indigo, Chapters and all the other big book chains were putting the little bookstores out of business they were also putting themselves out of business. It just took longer.
Your grandma was right, as grandmas always are when she told you,
People don't buy the cow when they can get the milk for free.
The future of book selling is online, and most of that will be E-books. Not all, because many still like to have a book in their hands. But most. Bookstores are simply going to fade away as a big business. I expect the little bookstore to make a comeback, but only as a niche thing. It wont be a business that the big conglomerates will be interested in. In many ways, that is a good thing.