You should read the whole post, but I wanted to pull one quote out and think it over.
On the one hand, JA is right here. There will be fewer books printed. That will result in fewer books sold through bookstores.
However while that may well result in fewer bookstores the surviving stores will do better.
Follow the logic through:
1) Ebooks claim a greater share of book sales
2) Print runs drop (for most books) to accomodate this
3) Gross physical book sales drop
4) Marginal bookstores close
5) Marginal sales drift
a) away for ever
b) to ebooks
c) to other bookstores
6) Surviving stores will win sales and market share for print
7) Surviving (well run) stores will be more profitable even in declining print markets.
Fewer books printed means fewer sold in bookstores, who will no longer be able to stay open. Without bookstore orders, publishers will print even fewer books. And so on.
Om is right AND wrong here. Yes the message is way more important than the medium, but there’s a real danger that in letting bookstores go we eliminate a whole raft of positive externalities.
The New York Times has been chronicling the trials and tribulations of Barnes & Noble, and in one of the pieces, the paper (which itself is on the receiving end of the digital whip) laments the loss of the traditional book-buying experience. Industry insiders are worried that as the stores die, books and the discovery of books are going to suffer, and as a result, book sales are going to take a nosedive. These arguments are no different from some of the hand-wringing over the shuttering of record stores.
Every time I walk down Broadway in New York, I see the shuttered space that once housed Tower Records, which was chock-full of musical goodness. I look at it wistfully, shake my head, walk on, and a few minutes later, when fancy strikes, I download the latest remix of Bad Boy Bass by Gaudi. I guess I’m one of those who believe that the message is more important than the medium.
Good review this! I’ve not seens Kick Ass yet, I may not after reading this!
One of the major differences between Kill Bill and Kick-Ass—besides the twenty-seven years that separate Uma Thurman from Chloë Moretz—is that Kill Bill is good and Kick-Ass is bad. Tarantino’s action sequences are as elegantly constructed as a well-turned phrase. When Thurman kills Gogo Yubari, Gogo’s metal ball drops to the floor, ending their fight as neatly as a period ends a sentence. The only part of Kick-Ass at all worthy of comparison with Kill Bill is one that has drawn dutiful outrage from critics: Hit-Girl, dressed in a white blouse and plaid skirt, is granted entrance to D’Amico’s lobby by his guards, whom she shoots quickly and quietly. In a movie full of jet-packs and gigantic explosions and burning warehouses, the scene seems spare and refined. But the sequence is one reason why critics have called the movie’s violence pornographic.
Oh this is well worth reading! WELL WORTH READING!
As we become a society increasingly engulfed in computer technology, there seem to be changes in the art world, specifically in regards to digitalization. Since the 1970s, art produced digitally has risen into the fine arts realm. For example, as opposed to manual photography which catches chemical changes on film … Read More
I have my doubts over the future of chain bookstores, but they are far from dead. Even in a pessimestic analysis they’ve a good decade in them if not two.
Ebooks are growing fast but physical books still have their advantages for some. As for B&N being down and out, I expect to see their logo on stores for some time to come.
My hunch is that B&N never really embraced the Internet or e-books, tied as it was to the old-fashioned world of physical books and stores. As B&N focused on managing decline, a much more nimble Amazon could concentrate exclusively on the new world it was forming. B&N needed to destroy its business model to prevail. Now it is probably too late. There is a lesson for all businesses here.