Economic forecasters say that bookstores are on the decline. The rise of the e-reader is taking over the market providing efficiency, convenience and direct access to millions of titles. Have the brick and mortar stores lost touch with the customers? What were they buying that isn’t selling?
I decided to log off and jump in the car to see for myself.
Walking into the big box bookstore, my eyes landed on a display table. It looked like the standard fare—hardcover books and paperbacks. New releases and publisher retreads. Books in a bookstore. What was going wrong?
Lifting my eyes, I saw about twenty of these tables. Some layered with books. Most layered with candles, fleece blankets, glass beads, headphones, and greeting cards. Huh?
Wandering past the tables, the rest of the store spread out like a discounters dream. There were a myriad of kiosks, bins, shelves, and wall hangers all covered with a myriad of items. I found pencil cases, markers, journals, maps, backpacks, ladies purses, and even Christmas ornaments.
Strolling to the back of the store, I found myself surrounded by DVDs, posters, games, toys, wooden puzzles, and Lego building kits. Where were the books?
Finally, looking back, past the potpourri, my eyes finally glimpsed the last half of the store. The section with books. Several shelves looked ransacked, some untouched. Like the rest of store items, they were marked 40% off retail price.
The store was going out of business.
Sunday, August 21, 2011. Today’s post was inspired by a visit to my local Borders bookstore. I doodled the image using Illustrator. ©2011. Steph Abbott. All rights reserved.