The times — they sure are a-changing! If you live in the United States, you may have heard last week that the embattled Borders bookstore chain had been forced to liquidate, closing down literally miles of bookshelf space, and leaving many without jobs. It's always a sad thing whenever many people lose their jobs, but it's becoming increasingly obvious in a digital information age, that if bookstore chains intend on surviving they need to adapt to the growing and evolving ways people are obtaining their books.
We've seen this pattern already in the burgeoning online way people are obtaining their music — I'm talking the legal ways, such as iTunes and online services like the new Spotify, for just a few examples. Think of the once dominant Blockbuster Video's recent bankruptcy, and now streamlining down to only 500 stores in the US. Many a brick and mortar store specializing in electronic entertainment such as music and movies have gone the way of the dodo bird due to their inability to also corner the market online, or in some cases, bother to adapt to it and the concept of supply and demand. People are increasingly opting to go the way of doing much of their lives online.
This is where bookstores need to step up their game and adapt to the rapidly growing trend of digital readers and online obtaining of information and entertainment. I personally cannot remember the last time I purchased a music CD from a store, and then went and manually added it to my iTunes. But I can tell you I buy directly on iTunes all the time. I cannot remember the last time I went and rented a DVD, but I rent movies online all the time. And now, I'm increasingly buying hard copy books less and less because it's harder for me to obtain them in my language, but also only out of necessity if it isn't available in Kindle format yet.
As an avid reader, I thought I'd never warm up to an electronic e-reader until I actually tried one. Don't knock it till you try it! It's true, nothing compares to the feeling of reading an actual paper book. But there are a lot of things I like about my Kindle, one of them being the fact it's much easier to read without turning pages but just touching a button, and the fact you can bring many books on it, unlike in actual books, if you wanted to bring with you on a trip the eight books you may have on the go, it becomes more bulky, thus giving e-readers an advantage. I personally think I'm reading a lot more and finishing books faster since I bought a Kindle thanks to the convenience of such a small device containing so much to read.