Reading through to a link InstaPundit had regarding E-book readers killing bookstores, I was moved to jot off a note to Glenn. When I was done writing it, I saw I had actually written a blog post. Perhaps there should be a link to a story about how blogging is killing personal e-mail?
In any case.... to the topic:
Think buggy whip factories.... Society and life styles change, dragging markets with them. Technology is an agent of change.
I will admit, since getting my 'Nook' I now buy more 'new books' than I ever did before, and I also visit book stores far less than I ever have.The library at the house is about 500 physical volumes, and since the Nook arrived... perhaps another 400 E-books.
I still go to the book store occasionally, a Barnes and Noble about 20 minutes from my home. Occasionally I go there specifically to buy a particular book, but more often I am there for the atmosphere. I enjoy the coffee shop feel, and the chance to browse stacks with a mug in my hand. In fact, perhaps half the time I am in the store I do no browsing at all. Instead, I take a table with my big mug of coffee and browse the NOOK offerings in-store, while chatting with friends.
Yes, I suppose E-books may put some stores out of business, but they also open an avenue of opportunity for others to open... or for current ones to morph. I would happily investigate a bookish coffee cafe that catered to my desire of atmosphere, and had a ready supply of both physical books and special downloads. Maybe local writers? Maybe themed months.... Sci-Fi, Mystery, etc. The path is open, and there is a vacuum to be filled in the market.
Yes, the large super jumbo bookstore cafe chains have killed off a lot of small bookstores, with the internet pounding in some of the coffin nails, and now E-books digging the grave. I say.... so be it. Change happens, and is part of life.
Now, I am happily waiting for what will come to fill the gap and ease the vacuum. People are social animals, and there is opportunity here for the technology of E-book readers to open a path into new business models. E-book/internet/bookish/cafe/coffee shops with lots of big comfy chairs and couches, walls lined with books, special e-books available..... I am open. Surprise me!