I was reading an article a couple of days ago that I thought made a good point. It discussed how despite the surge of e-books and e-readers in recent years, there is still a place for print books. On a personal note, I can still appreciate reading a print book from time to time despite owning a Kindle Touch, iPad and iPhone.
There seems to be a general consensus that print is on its way out, and getting an e-reader means you’ll never read print books again. I think instead of replacing print books, digital books will just be adding to the types of formats that people can use to read. Digital books allow more font adjustments and lighting, so they offer a more customized reading experience.
With the rise of e-readers including the Amazon Kindle, and the e-books that go along with it, many of the major book chains have faltered or have gone out of business. Borders declared bankruptcy earlier this year, and Barnes & Noble is not doing all too great. It does have the Nook in its arsenal however, and it has definitely provided healthy competition for the Kindle.
I think the foreseeable future still holds a big place for both print and digital materials. Print books give a certain feel that digital books cannot. There is really something for everyone. You have print, e-readers, and most recently, tablets. The Kindle Fire has taken the tablet market by a storm, and is taking a hit at the iPad sales already.
The thing that has hurt the big chain bookstores so much is that Amazon offers books in all formats so much cheaper. Independent bookstores can also offer used books at competitive prices. They can also offer a sense of warmth and community that you don’t get with a larger bookstore.
So, smaller bookstores have the potential to shine. It is all a matter of addressing what the customers want. I’ve always dreamed of owning a used book store where people can come to read, work, or just gather. Maybe one day soon there will be more independent bookstores that sell both e-books and print books.