Day: August 27, 2007

Bookstores slow descent

Eoin Purcell

Bookshop doom
For all the worry and chatter in the publishing and bookselling world, Scott Karp’s post today really strikes to the heart of the current dilemma bookshops face:

I used to love bookstores — they were magical places where the whole world of information and stories was at your fingertips. But I realized today that the bookstore has begun its slow decent into obsolescence, just like every analogue media institution. The bookstore has been replaced by the Web as the place of wonder, and there’s no turning back.

The realization came as it does for most people when searching a store for a book that it turns out is just so much easie rto buy online:

I didn’t find a copy of Everything Is Miscellaneous — the inventory system suggested I try another store, where the book “might” be in stock (the system is not real time). Traveling across town for information seemed about as reasonable as using into a horse and buggy to do so.

And book publishers too
Strangely the unheralded side swipe (perhaps not even intention) at book publishers is as understated as his kicking of booksellers:

business books by truly interesting minds presenting paradigm shifting ideas have the artwork quality of fiction — they still have the power to stand on their own. Such books are rare but will probably endure longer than most business books, which are already being killed off by business blogs.

For now, I’m more than happy to visit David’s Everything Is Miscellaneous blog, where he does the one powerful thing he isn’t able to do in a book: dynamically link. Just reading several posts, I’ve already discovered other interesting blogs and interesting sites. I was able to browse topics I’m interested in, like journalism, and discover other topics of interest by browsing the tags.

Scott is explaining the forces undermining the BOOK INDUSTRY in the post and the sad part is that all of it is true.

Lots of thinking to do on this one
Eoin