Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sad News

According to this article, Barnes & Noble, one of the last physical bookstores, had a poor Christmas and will start closing stores soon. As both a reader and writer, this is depressing news.

Reader - Yes, I have bought books from Amazon, but I buy more at B&N. Why? Because I can wander the aisles, sampling books until I find new authors to enjoy. As much as it might try, Amazon will never be able to match that sense of discovery. Online, you have to intentionally search for a book. Browsing just doesn't work well.  

Writer - Every aspiring author I know hungers for their first book signing. The chance to autograph the end-product of years of dreams and hopes. eBooks - kinda hard to sign. If there are no bookstores, where will signings be held? At restaurants? In parking lots? Autograph parties in the author's home? It's doubtful a lot of 'potential' readers will just happen to attend those (vs. passersby in bookstores).

I was depressed when Borders closed. I'm just as depressed that Barnes & Noble might be on the way out. It's sad, sad news indeed.

And I still don't like eReaders.


  1. From what I hear, they're not completely shutting down their brick-and-mortar stores. Many will go away, but for the most part there will stil be some. If there's only one in Dallas, it'll be a special trip to drive down there and hang for hours. Apparently in Denton, people from Oklahoma drive down here to shop at B&N since there aren't any nearby in OK. Gives me hope that the Denton store will stay open.

    1. I didn't mean to imply B&N is closing all its stores. However, I recall that Borders started with just a few store closures, and then about a year later the chain had vanished. I know there are HUGE differences between Borders and B&N (everyone now acknowledges that its own management drove Borders into the ground). I mourn the possible demise of brick-and-mortal bookstores. That would be a sad day indeed.