A horrific tragedy has struck my home in South Carolina. (Ok, that’s overstating it a bit, but it’s still sad!)
The local bookstore, Barnes and Noble, in Harbison, is closing its doors in January, leaving the entire area with no traditional bookstore other than a used bookstore.
This bookstore was our study spot for Cal-clueless and Physics torture and Engalissh classes in high school. (Those titles are jokes, FYI.) I went on a date there. We had youth group and Bible studies there sometimes. I interviewed for a college there. Countless summer reading books were purchased there. It was a prime place for hanging out before going to a movie, or walking around with friends after dinner. It is also the same place where I informed my fiance that I would begin looking for jobs in North Carolina near him rather than taking a promising career opportunity else.
And now it’s closing, purportedly because of decreased sales due to e-book sales. I feel partly to blame, (A) for moving to NC and taking away my considerable business (I LOVE books!) and (B) reading lots of books on my iPad rather than buying ol’ paper pages.
So this is a plea – you can buy e-books, but please also buy some paper books from time to time! At least until stores like Barnes and Noble can figure out how they can successfully profit off their Nooks. Which may be never.
It’s a capitalist conundrum for me. Yes, weak businesses that can’t adapt should falter and fail, either becoming absorbed by better businesses or exiting the market completely to free up space for stronger ones. But this is Barnes & Noble! It isn’t a weak business. They’re actively trying to market their Nook and reach consumers by adding what they like (I enjoyed some Starbucks there today for a few hours).
In the meantime, while Barnes and Noble figures out their strategy, what will the good readers of Chapin/Irmo, SC do?
What do you think?