Are books obsolete?
It’s a question that I’m sure you have heard asked many times. Being a bookseller, I would like to think that books will be around for a long time. But more and more, I’m beginning to see the end for my beloved tomes and, more importantly, my current cash cow.
Case in point, at a family reunion this weekend, an older lady, sleeping on the couch, had a Kindle clutched to her chest. Obviously, she had drifted off to sleep while reading, much like people used to do with books.
A perhaps more telling incident occurred this morning at the engineering firm where I work. On occasion, I bring in a box of books to give away. Admittedly, these books aren’t bestsellers, or even fiction, for that matter. However, they aren’t boring books, either, and run the gamut from pregnancy books to southern history, and everything in between. A simple company-wide email (Books…you know where…first come, first served), in the past, had been enough to cause a line to form in my office as people pawed over the books, taking home most, if not all, of what I brought in.
Not today. My standard email brought in exactly three people for the free books.
And I wonder why sales are down. If I can’t give books away, what makes me think that I can sell them?