I am excited by the news that there is a resurgence in physical bookstores.
Locally, the Dallas Morning News announced in an article last week that a new bookstore, Interabang Books, would open in May, 2017, at Preston and Royal in Dallas, one of the busiest intersections in the city. The article states that the store will be a “5,000-square-foot site that will carry 12,000 titles and focus on fiction, children’s books and creative nonfiction. It will have space for up to 100 people for book signings, and a children’s stage for story times.” You can read the entire article here:
This is a national trend. This article summarizes results from seven different stores in cities where traditional bookstores are thriving. This is the citation for that article:
Even the large chain, Barnes & Noble, has seen gains in physical, on-site purchases. This article, published in Fortune.com, sites a three-month period in 2016 when online sales dropped more than 12%, but in-store sales rose 1.3%. You can read more here:
Of course, these bookstores look nothing like the “bookstores” of ten or more years ago. They contain coffee, food, music, gifts, games, and other items that attract and keep shoppers interested. The result is that the bookstores continue to be an important part of an intellectual, but also, casual shopping community.
I don’t understand the enthusiasm that some people have for technology to replace these traditional stores. There are plenty of people who do not want to read a book on a tablet, laptop, or phone. I don’t understand why we don’t view these as alternative sources, rather than as replacements. After all, if the purpose of all these sites is to increase reading, thus producing a more intellectual and informed community, why wouldn’t we want to have multiple ways to put content in everyone’s hands?