Sunday, February 13, 2011

Are We About to See the End of the Bookstore?

Yes, when you walk into any Barnes and Noble these days, the first thing they want to sell you is a Nook, which will enable you to buy all future books online. And is touting the Kindle as their best selling product. It makes you wonder if anyone will still be printing books in a couple of years.

But a walk through Powell's Books in Portland Oregon found a lot of people shopping for books the old-fashioned way. And since many of the books Powell's sells are used, they could maintain this business model as long as customers keep coming to the store, even if publishers stop printing new books.

That's a worry in bookselling these days. Powell's did just announce it is laying off 31 employees, citing "market conditions, including an industry-wide decline in new book sales, rising health care costs and the economy."

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