Sunday, March 28, 2010

What is the future of bookstores? More customers like President Obama or death by eBook readers?

President Obama stopped by last week at Prairie Lights, an independent bookstore in Iowa City and bought couple of books for his daughters (and Robert Gibbs' son as well). But although the President seemed to enjoy his visit at the bookstore, it looks like the future of bookstores has never looked so bleak.

Not only that bookstores need to compete with online bookstores and deal with the cheap prices retailers like Wal-Mart are offering, now they also have to face what looks like their biggest challenge: the rise of e-books.

Are eBook Readers the death of bookstores?" asks Tim Martin on News Blaze and adds that "this has been a question more people are starting to ask, especially with the upcoming release of the Apple iPad coming up on April 3, 2010."

And he is not alone. You can find more and more of these questions and debates over the Internet. Many see the iPad, Amazon's Kindle, the Nook and other current and future eBook readers as the most significant threat on bookstores. Others, on the other side, see it as an opportunity and not just a risk. Bill Harley, for example, wrote recently that "independent booksellers should be rooting for electronic media. Their survival may depend on it."

For us this is more than just a theoretical debate on opportunities and risks. We love bookstores, some of our most great partners are bookstores and we see in them an
important part of the book industry today and tomorrow. We believe that the way bookstores will be operate in the future can play an important role in the efforts to make the industry more sustainable.

That's why we follow the discussions on the future of bookstores very closely, and we would like to share with you some of the most interesting articles, like the ones mentioned above.

We collect the posts, updates and news we find on a new page on our website entitled "The Future of Bookstores". This webpage will be updated on almost daily basis and we hope you will find it useful! And of course if you see something we missed, please send us an email (info [at] ecolibris [net]) and we'll be happy to add your input.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

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