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Is the Internet the death of the bookstore?

by | Mar 15, 2011 | Tips For Writers | 4 comments

Psst… I have a confession to make.

“I’m an Amazon.com type of girl.”

There I said it!

I’m a writer and I make all of my book purchases online even though there’s a Borders ten minutes from my home.

Does that make sense?

Maybe or maybe not.

Aside from book signings for my company, I can’t remember the last time I set foot in a bookstore. Heck, for that matter, I can’t remember the last time I bought a CD as opposed to downloading an MP3 from iTunes.

Over the weekend, I was driving past the Borders in my neighborhood and there was a huge “Going Out Of Business” sign. And then randomly I was on another part of town and saw another Borders with the same sign and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

No, I haven’t been living under a rock. I heard about Borders closing stores when the announcement was first made, but it was seeing the sign that made it hit home. Borders was one of the bigger bookstore chains that supported small publishers and self-published authors and they allowed my company to host several book signings in their stores. And if I think back on some of those signings, I should have seen the writing on the walls. The cafe area would be packed with people reading unpurchased books and magazines but the cashier area would be relatively empty.

Is the Internet the death of the bookstore? And what will happen to book signings if book stores cease to exist? And for publishers like myself, does that force us to change our business models?

As I look amongst my family and friends, even their book purchases are made online. I believe this is in part due to the following:

– Used book options

– New books at cheaper prices

– Extremely quick shipping

– Convenience

– Ability to read book reviews

– eBook options

To be honest, its simply convenience for me. Clicking the “add to shopping cart” button is much easier than getting dressed, burning gas and taking time to drive to the book store. Being able to sit at my computer and purchase an mp3, movie, or book is simply a part of adapting to this new technology driven “one click” world.

As a business owner I even considered this new “one click” world when releasing Marketing and Publicity for the author as an eBook. So what say you? Are you still a traditional book store reader or have you gone the way of the Internet? Please share in the comment section below.


  1. Lisa

    I am still a traditional book reader. I do not like to scroll down when I am reading a 300 page book. I rather turn the pages. I would like an eReader for travel reasons, that way I am not carrying 5 books around.

    I believe book signings or discussions will still be around because individuals enjoy having a one on one connection with authors. Having the opportunity to directly question the author or take pictures with them is memorable.

    • Stefanie

      I haven't purchased an eReader yet, but I want one for the same reason. And book signings have been one of the highlights of my career.

  2. Johanna

    Totally a traditional girl. I love the way a book feels, the way pages smell,and an Amazon junkie. Yes, I need help. I mentioned to my friend the other day I needed to go on Amazon, of course to buy some books, and her repsonse was that "Amazon is old School" and only good for a Kindle. Uuummm, whatever!

    • Stefanie

      Haha, Amazon is old school. That is hilarious. Well then I'm totally old school 😉