The weather has been beautiful today, and while the birds have been chirping happily, I've felt a sense of loss as our local secondhand bookshop closed its doors for the last time. As I trawled through the shelves for a few last-minute finds, I stumbled upon a title called "The Adventure of Publishing". Despite the fact that this book was first published in 1949, its contents resonate strongly today. Chapters explore issues such as "Publishing Slump?", "Why Become a Publisher?", "Who Buys Books", and "How to Survive as a Publisher". While The Adventure of Publishing was first released in 1949, the issues raised and commentary throughout the book are still relevant in today's publishing industry. Basically it would seem that there has been little change in the industry during this time and its likely that publishing will continue to flourish, despite issues faced by publishers. The aspect of the publishing industry that does bother me is not how publishers will survive, but more importantly, how bookshops will continue to survive.
With so many people are turning to digital ebooks, publishers only need to change their publishing methods. But unfortunately these methods sever bookstores and ultimately retailers are left with no option but to close their doors.
In order for stores to continue to survive, consumers need to change their shopping habits. While shopping online is convenient, it just isn't as romantic as sifting through the shelves of a traditional retail store. Furthermore, we often forget that by shopping online, we also cut employee's out of jobs.
Today's store closure felt a lot like 'The Little Bookshop Around the Corner' in the film You've Got Mail, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. But while 'The Little Bookstore Around the Corner' was swallowed up by retail conglomerate 'Fox Books', there isn't a retail giant to replace the small secondhand bookshop in our small rural town.
While I can't change the shopping habits of others, I'm going to continue to be old-fashioned and spend a few extra dollars on books from traditional retail outlets. Ebooks may be convenient, but they simply don't feel as warm and comforting as a real, printed book.