I cannot imagine a world without a physical bookstore.
When I travel, one of my favorite pastimes is browsing in a book store. I like the smell of books, I like to see the cover art, I like to thumb through them to get a feel for the books before I buy them. Being an artist, I like coffee table books on art, photography and nature.
But I do not like to have boxes of heavy books filling my storage space. So I welcomed eBooks and I have stopped buying physical books, except for reference materials and books with lots of photos and illustrations, where eBooks don’t do the job very well.
So when I go to a bookstore now, I see what’s going on, and then I buy the book online later. This, of course, hurts the bookstore.
I wrote a number of blog posts about that. Here they are:
Some of those posts were written when there were still Borders stores. Now those are all gone. Barnes and Noble is the only viable large bookstore chain left. I want them to succeed.
However, their holiday results in 2012 were dismal. Sales from stores and the website sank 11 percent to $1.2 billion. Revenue at the Nook unit, which includes devices, accessories and content, fell 13 percent to $311 million. Their Nook devices are competing head-on with Amazon Kindle devices and Apple iPads. A tough neighborhood to compete in.
Their outlook is bleak.
This caused me to change my behavior. I created a Barnes and Noble account, downloaded the Nook app for my iPad, and I have bought my first eBook off Barnes and Noble. I comparison shopped for pricing at Amazon, and found that the book was priced identically.
I am not buying a Nook. I have two physical Kindles. I have a Kindle app on my iPad, my iPhone and my computer. I do not need another device, sorry, Barnes and Noble. But I’ll buy books from Barnes and Noble from now on, if I can. I will test their service, offering and performance.
I don’t want to live in a world that has no physical book stores. Hopefully it’s not too late for Barnes and Noble to survive.