A Life Without Bookstores?

The mere title of today’s blog sends me into cold sweats because I am a lover of books. I shudder to think what a life without bookstores would be like. A few words that instantly come to mind are: cold, sad and depressing.

We didn’t have a lot of money when I was young, so I didn’t venture into a bookstore until I got my first job in Manhattan. Entering that store was an out of body experience for me. I spent more lunch hours than I care to admit, surrounded by books, rather than living breathing co-workers.

As a writer, it’s important to keep up with your genre, and the quantity of new releases can add up quickly, so, I broke down and bought a kindle last year. I find it extremely helpful especially when traveling, instead of packing five or six books, I can pack more clothes.

Here we are a few year’s later after the battle of the big bookstores, and I can’t help but find it ironic that after putting all the small bookstore’s out of business, these large conglomerates have also put each other out of business, leaving us with one bookstore chain.

One.  And I can’t help wonder how did this happen?

I talk to a lot of people who don’t buy ebooks. They want a print version. Not everyone owns a computer, and not everyone orders books on-line. So I think its always going to be important to supply readers with what they want. To do this, I have a hard time thinking that Amazon will be enough.

And one bookstore chain? Nope. I don’t think so.

Last week, a very good source told me that B&N closes twenty bookstores a year in the U.S. alone. Well, call me an optimist, but I think it’s time for the re-birth of the small bookstore. It’s time to get back in the game, boys. Whether they offer a little bit of everything, or specialize in certain genres: Children’s books, Romance, Mystery, Thrillers, Suspense, etc., I think people would welcome them back with open arms.

What do you think? Do you miss your local hometown bookstore? I know I do.

Best,

Cathy Tully

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