From: Claudia Holland <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2014 19:51:49 +0000
Interesting. I love what smaller family-owned bookstores used to offer―the
smell of hundreds of books in one place (a “newer” smell than a library of
books of all ages), the anticipation of spending time looking at and
riffling through books I don’t normally purchase or those I intend to, the
side-long glance to see what titles others are engrossed in (a little hard
to do when it’s on a device), who’s looking at magazines rather than
books, the personal banter with the owners and staff, and so on.
I dislike the toys (I LIKE toys, just not in a bookstore), the smell of
coffee (sorry, pet peeve), and the size and impersonality of bookstores
now, but I still like to go. It’s just not as satisfying. I tend to enjoy
my local public library more, now. I experience the spectrum of my
community there, as well as the other things I mentioned.
Do you think that one day bookstores will simply become “print showrooms”?
That sounds so much like buying a car or going to a museum.
On 12/4/14, 6:56 PM, "LIBLICENSE" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>From: Joseph Esposito <[log in to unmask]>
>Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2014 20:23:14 -0500
>I miss the overall experience of a public place, the browsing, the
>occasional book-related conversations with people I don't know. I
>feel much the same wandering the stacks in a library. I would be very
>happy to live in a world where bookstores were ubiquitous, but all
>purchases were made electronically. So bookstores would be print
>showrooms for ebooks. But it's the public experience, the Third
>Place, that is so compelling for me.
>On Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 6:27 PM, LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> From: Claudia Holland <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2014 17:11:49 +0000
>> But, Joe, what is it that you miss about bookstores, if you don¹t miss
>> print books?
>> Claudia Holland
>> On 12/1/14, 7:13 PM, "LIBLICENSE" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> >From: Joseph Esposito <[log in to unmask]>
>> >Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2014 11:54:50 -0500
>> >I read this post just prior to boarding a flight from Los Angeles to
>> >New York. By my estimate well over half the passengers were watching
>> >a movie or sports event on the seat-back video display. So in
>> >addition to the question of print vs. digital books, we have the
>> >competition with other media. My view is that consumer publishing,
>> >insofar as it is a species of entertainment, will be seriously
>> >challenged by the many new media alternatives. In this respect, Apple
>> >is a bigger threat than Amazon.
>> >As for shelf space at Barnes & Noble, this is much discussed in trade
>> >book circles. We had an unsustainable high point for book shelf space
>> >in the 1990s (the increased shelf space for superstores did not
>> >materially improve sales in the aggregate, so the cost of the retail
>> >operations inevitably would make the model collapse, even without the
>> >introduction of ebooks). A B&N store at that time with 150,000 titles
>> >was not 100% books (calendars, toys, cards, etc. were always part of
>> >the mix), but there is no doubt that calling B&N a bookstore now seems
>> >almost fraudulent. Interestingly, other stores have now begun to sell
>> >books (e.g., Anthropologie). So is the shelf space growing or
>> >What is clear, though, is that it is shrinking for intellectually
>> >serious books. A clothing boutique may carry books, but probably not
>> >those that the members of this list consider relevant.
>> >In about 1995 I saw the entire Loeb Classical Library in a Borders on
>> >Michigan Avenue in Chicago. I knew that was simply marketing, an
>> >attempt to make the store seem more serious than it was, to add "tone"
>> >to the off-price books in the front of the store.
>> >The book business is a small one. It will persist, but over time it
>> >will likely return to its core constituency of serious readers, most
>> >of whom will find their book online. I don't miss print books myself,
>> >but I do miss bookstores.
>> >Joe Esposito