Thursday, March 27, 2008

204. Where do you get Your books?

I know people who read copiously and rely on the public library. I know people who read all of the time and never set foot in the library. Some people buy on-island at Bestsellers. Others are avid on-line shoppers. Even those purchasing on-line frequent different sites-Amazon, B&N, Powell's, etc.

The recent news in the book world is that Borders may be shutting down (or being bought out by Barnes and Noble). Literary Agent Kristin Nelson does a good job analyzing the effect on small presses and authors here.

There's been a growing concern that books on paper are on their way out as technology changes. The decline in independent bookstores and now, possibly, a popular chain of bookstores seems to lend credence to this fear. Vanity presses and other self-publishing ventures, though, seem to be doing well at getting customers (people who want to publish), but of course less well at sales (people who read).

Change is constant. But I would miss Borders ( a place where I shop a lot on my infrequent trips stateside).


lil_hammerhead said...

I've tried reading books over my PC, reading virtual books, and listening to audio books. The first two methods are horrible - impersonal and unfriendly. Audiobooks are sometimes alright, depending on how the voice of the narrator relates to you.

I think it will be a long long time, if ever, that there is not a substantial market for a book. The smell and feel of a book, the way it draws you in, like a friend as you make your way through it, and as it wears.

Books to many, are also things to be passed down. I have books from my great grandparents, grandparents and parents.. my kids will inherit these along with my books.

Saipan Writer said...

I can't believe I forgot about audio books. I've listened to a few and love them. They're great in the car. I especially enjoy the voice talents of the reader. (I've listened to all of the Harry Potter books, two of the Hermux Tantamoux [sp] books, some Agatha Christie, at least one of the travelling pants, and a few other books on "tape"-actually cd.)

Samatakah said...

I use the library like crazy. I've even taken advantage of interlibrary loan when the city library got a book for me from the state university across the bay.

When I buy books, I almost always get them at my local mom & pop shop named, appropriately enough, The Book Shop. I bought "This I Believe" (recommended!) at Powell's Books. I avoid Amazon on principle, and haven't bought a book in a B&N or Borders in a long time (like, six years).

I used to work at a publisher and followed with interest the "battle" between the book behemoths and the independent shops (including The Tattered Cover (Denver), Powell's (Portland), and A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books (SF)). Also, when I buy books (or anything) at my local shop the sales tax (or some of it) stays in town.

I'm lucky, however, with a plethora of choices for book shopping - and again, easy access to good libraries.