Thursday, January 3, 2013

Will your bookstore become a museum?

Something strange happened to Writer Abroad this Christmas. She went to the United States and she didn't buy any books.

She visited several bookstores. She celebrated all the English on every shelf. She found a few books she'd like to read. But she didn't buy any of them.

Why?

Writer Abroad got a Kindle for Christmas.

She never thought this day would come, but in an attempt to keep up with the times, not to mention make her suitcase a little lighter this year, Writer Abroad converted to digital reading.

This brings up a lot of questions.
 
How will this digital stuff change her reading habits?  Are devices like the Kindle great for us Writers Abroad, who will now have English books available no matter what country we live in? Or will digital readers have unfortunate effects like making our beloved bookstores obselete? 

Writer Abroad couldn't help feeling bad for the bookstores she visited. Many are now selling toys as well as books. And can you blame them? If Writer Abroad, a reader and writer who is 200% more thirsty for English-language books than the average American, isn't buying any books at American  bookstores, who is?

Are you still buying books at bookstores? Or have you converted to digital too?




11 comments:

  1. I have so many hard copy books that I haven't yet read, it seems a shame to buy the Kindle when I'm drowning in possibilities already.

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  2. I still borrow books from the library and buy some from Barnes and Noble from time to time. I like receiving hard copy books as gifts, and like giving them, so I think there is still a market in that way. I also think the market for children's books is still huge. Reading your baby the board book version of Goodnight Moon makes much more sense than a digital version. However, I have Kindle on my windows phone and am so thankful to be able to read books on it while round-the-clock nursing at night!

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  3. I have a Kindle (it used to be my husband's and then he upgraded) but I keep forgetting about it. I have so many books in my house that I still want to read. I don't even carry my Kindle with me when I go away, and at the moment I'm stuck with nothing to read as the local bookstore here has gone.
    I should really get with the times, but I love my books.

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  4. Once I didn't use my Kindle for about a month and when I finally went to use it, on my three hour train journey, I got an "Empty Battery" screen!

    That's never happened with a book.

    So, while I do appreciate the space it doesn't take up in my bag, I still prefer my books to any e-reader.

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  5. I love both books and my ereader. I travel with both all the time now. And honestly I don't feel ereaders are threatening the existence of books in anyway. Just like the escalator doesn't threaten the existence of stairs.

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    Replies
    1. Well it depends on the mood, even I like to visit the library rather than reading on the kindle.

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  7. Glad to hear no one thinks books are on the out! And congrats, Amanda!

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  10. I buy a mix of ebooks and print books. Print books are more fun to give as gifts and there are some that I want to read on my iPad at the airport and others that I want to curl up with in bed. It's also worth pointing out that some indie bookstore now sell ebooks through the Kobo platform: http://blog.kobobooks.com/kobo-and-independent-bookstores-join-forces-to-expand-ereading-across-the-u-s/ It's the best of both worlds, in my opinion.

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