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Are we helping the bookshop disappear?

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Offline B J Burton Reading Complete Works of H P Lovecraft
21 Apr 2016, 07:53 AM | Post: #11

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RE: Are we helping the bookshop disappear?

This post was last modified: 21 Apr 2016 07:55 AM by B J Burton.
Before I retired I ran a publishing business and had painful experience of the decline of bookshops. It began well before ebooks became popular. As Katherine says, charity shops have had a huge impact. One of our connections had an Oxfam specialist bookshop open a few yards away. There was no competing with a business that had free stock, volunteer staff and reduced business rates. Amazon's print copy service also had a major impact, of course.
I think that losing bookshops is a sad state of affairs. I've enjoyed many happy times in them attending book-signings. Not just my own - I've had some lovely chats with authors such as George Melly,  'Dickie' Bird and Eric Sykes. I really enjoy going into a bookshop with a grandchild clutching their pocket money and watching them spend lots of time making their selections.
However, the decline does seem to be going into reverse. Big publishers appear to have belatedly realised that their remaining High Street retailers deserve more support and book sellers are becoming more creative with how they conduct their business. Long may they continue.
Occasional author - compulsive reader

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Offline Arcadian
15 Jun 2016, 11:00 AM | Post: #12

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RE: Are we helping the bookshop disappear?

This post was last modified: 15 Jun 2016 11:03 AM by Arcadian.
I think that even if ebooks become the dominant form print is never going to go away. A certain number of people are always going to really love the look and feel of print and having an actual physical book in their hands, and I think this will be true even of a younger generation that didn't grow up with print as their only option and have no nostalgia for it.

I think in the future physical copies of books will be a small but thriving niche. Everything from the big mass market bestsellers to the smaller independents will be digital only and printed books will fall into one of two categories- books that really only work in printed form, think most art books, many children's books etc, and fancy special editions that work as beautiful objects, like those put out by The Folio Society.

What that means is that the big bookstores as we know them today are probably going to become a thing of the past. But as others here have suggested, does it really matter? There will still be small independent bookshops where print junkies can get their fix and for everyone else there will be Amazon.

Currently Reading:Complete Works of H P Lovecraft Last Book I Read: Favourite Genres:Fantasy. Historical. Biography.