Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nook, E-Readers and Other Digitals vs. Hard copy books

I just read this very interesting article on how Borders is becoming less and less popular among the biggest book retailer, Barnes and Noble, and even Amazon. It made me think about this A LOT for many reasons..

1.) I am studying Business Management where I want to OWN my own book store some day. 

2.) It talks about the digital books that are available nowadays, and how much of positive and even negative affect this has on book retailers, as well as us readers.

I'm hoping by writing this entry, it'll cause some interesting discussion and/or debates. I'd like to see what everyone else in the blogging/bookish world thinks about this. 

If you'd like to read the article that I'm speaking of, you can find it HERE. Feel free to read it as you read my entry about my thoughts/opinions. 

This article mainly talks about how Borders, the once 2nd all time book retailer is slowly being taken down by Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. It talks about how Borders may have to file a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy law suit in order to stay open, how they are thinking about combining Barnes & Noble with Borders to see if they can make a bigger profit, get out of debt, etc. 

Now, this raises a flag with me... If Barnes & Noble (My all time favorite book store), is doing SO WELL, am I going to be able to rise against them when I open my own store? Obviously my store will start off small, but I hope to be as big as Borders, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. This worries me. And in part, the article talks about how Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and now Borders all have the digital e-readers where you can buy this thin book shaped digital piece of technology and can buy, download, etc. books onto it and read it without the "hassle" of having a an actual book to "lug around". According to this article (and from what I've seen out in public), these digital e-readers as becoming more and more popular. They're decently priced to buy, and the books you buy off the computer are decently prices as well. The book industry is being rapidly changed by this technology, just like the music, news, entertainment, etc. industries have with advanced technology. 

Don't get me wrong, I am all for these e-readers. From what I've seen, they're pretty awesome. But personally, I don't want to own one for the simple fact that I enjoy the look and feel of having an ACTUAL book in my hands. I feel like these e-readers take that possibility away, and you miss that "new book smell". And, if these things keep advancing more and more, are hard copy books going to be available anymore at all?? If e-readers develop into a huge craze to phase out actual books, what's going to happen to Libraries? Are stores like Barnes & Noble, or even my book store, going to be able to survive solely on digital copies of books? Will Barnes & Noble then be in the same position as Borders? About to be completely out of business, and/or filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy? The article mentions that Borders was one of the last book retailers to come up with a digital e-reader, and that they aren't able to keep up with the higher retailers. Isn't this a sign of what might happen if hard copy books phase out? 

The article does say something that I like/agree with... " But books have survived every retail transformation so far". So, hopefully these digital transformations don't phase out the actual hard copy book world. But the article also mentions that if we don't like, or agree with the digital world, there is also the library. But, wouldn't the libraries suffer too?

My sole purpose of writing this entry based on the article that I read is to ask you, my follow bookish people and bloggers.. What do you think?? Do you think that the digital e-readers will phase out hard copy books? How do you think this will affect book stores in the future? Do you prefer the digital copies over hard copies? Why, or why not? 

I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts/opinions on this subject!



TheBookGirl said...

If you go by me, you have nothing to worry about, lol, as I will never give up reading "actual" physical books. I don't have an e-reader now, and while sometimes I am tempted, I really don't think I would like reading on one. I don't even like reading on the computer that much (big exception for book related things).

The only techno inroad that I do use alot is downloading audiobooks on my ipod from the library; it is so much easier than using CDs, and I can check them out anytime, not just when the library is open.

Stephany said...

See, that's how I feel too!! I have definitely considered buying and e-reader, but I just don't know if I'd like it. In all honesty, I think I'd buy one just so I could go on the internet. Because you can do regular internet searching on them as well, like you could do on any computer. But I just don't know how I'd feel about reading a book on it. I'm sure it has it's positive things though. Maybe I'm just looking at the negative??? I don't know.

I've never tried an audiobook. I"m not sure that even that would interest in me. =/

ABookGeek said...

My husband and I debated the whole e-reader issue but ended up opting in -- I got a Kindle then, he did, then our son got one. . . See how this is trending? BUT this is for mostly practical reasons. We have a relatively small house and we homeschool three kids - which equals many many books. Many of the classics that our kids are reading/will read are in public domain and can be downloaded free to our readers. This makes financial and storage sense. We will NEVER give up actual paper books because we love them, but it does help with space.I don't think paper books will go away for this reason - too many people love the experience of holding a real book in their hands, the smell, the way the pages feel, etc.

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