I Hope Book Stores Survive

I’m a library geek – love them. I’m writing a book – which of course I want to sell, but book stores lately are almost becoming optional in book marketing. 

The Barnes & Noble bookstore near my house is closing. One answer is that the store was doing well, but the landlord didn’t renew their lease, after being in the same location for 15 years. I believe it because the same property management company refused to renew the lease for Seattle Espresso, a coffee shop and hang-out my daughter worked at, loved. It had been there and doing well for 18 years. What was it replaced with? A haircut salon for kids. So .. . . two community gathering places near my house are being chased away.  

The larger picture of book stores, is that Borders is gone, Barnes & Noble is closing stores across the country, and in 2012, 44% of all book sales were on Amazon. I admit to buying books on Amazon – it’s just so darn convenient when I’m shopping at 11 pm.  But . . .  . did you know if you’re a Barnes & Noble member ($25/year) you can order anything, any amount, and shipping is free. Lately I’ve been trying to use BN.com when I can. The bonus there is not only do you get your member discount online, shipping is always free, no matter the purchase amount (you have to spend $35 to get free shipping on Amazon – and I refuse to use Amazon’s Prime.) I’ve used BN.com to ship small gifts to folks on my gift list. Using BN.Com is also my passive aggressive way to oppose a total monopoly named Amazon. I just want bookstores to stay in business. 

The strongest (no statistics involved, I just shop there a lot) independent book store near my house is the Tempe Changing Hands bookstore. In fact they just OPENED a second location in central Phoenix, which makes me very happy. It’s just a great place to hang out in person, face to face and actually meet authors. There’s always some event going on.  

But it’s a lesson for large chains – reinvent, become a community gathering place, offer events and a reason to go there, and I do believe people will come. I hope.

Share Post

Tags: About Katrina