Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I can’t even give my books away now

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?


  1. I live near a book manufacturing plant and rumor has it that they will be shutting down in the near future. A local CD/DVD factory also closed (but I heard that they have old vinyl presses in the basement and that they are making LPs on them). If/when the grid ever goes down, what will people do?

  2. I do love my Kindle, but there's nothing better than an actual book. The only books of mine that are selling right now (not like I'm selling much of anything lately) are craft and sewing books.

  3. I generally stick with kids books. I have luck selling those..but they aren't my main selling item.

  4. My DH bought me a Nook for Christmas in 2010. So far I've only read one book on it when I was on jury duty last year. I do love my books, but am beginning to find the Nook a little more convenient when I travel. I'm slowly becoming a convert to e-readers. I'll think of buying a book at the thrift store but then I wonder when will I have time to read it; and anyway, if I do want to read it, I can get it on my e-reader. ON THE OTHER HAND, I can pick up books for ten-cents to $1.00, a lot less than buying the e-version. I also hate that you can't give your e-book to a friend, or even resell it. But e-readers are definitely having an impact on books.