Sunday Dialogue: Tumult in the Book World

Sunday Dialogue: Tumult in the Book World

Source: The New York Times

In their weekly Sunday Review, The New York Times asked its readers whether or not traditional bookstores can survive the digital marketplace. Our favorite response came from Steve Bercu, President of the American Booksellers Association. Here's what he had to say:

As both a bookseller and the president of the American Booksellers Association, I would heartily agree that the book industry has seen an astounding digital transformation. What shouldn’t be overlooked is that it’s also witnessing a vibrant renaissance in indie bookselling. Nationwide, sales in independent bookstores are up over the past two years, new stores are opening nationwide and a whole new generation of booksellers is coming to the fore.

While indie booksellers, too, were stunned by the Justice Department’s assault on a legal pricing model for e-books that was resulting in greater consumer choice and lower prices, our focus will be to continue providing readers and book buyers an unparalleled experience for browsing and discovering their next great read. Research bears out that the percentage of those who discover new titles in a physical bookstore far outstrips that of those who learned about a new book online. Algorithms are still a pale substitute for a bookseller’s insight, knowledge and passion.

Our neighborhood bookstores are where customers come to experience firsthand a deeper connection with authors, great writing and their own community.

To see what others are saying about the digital debate, click here, and tell us what you think in the comments below. For a light hearted take on the topic, watch this video from our friends at Sustain-a-Bull Durham:

To find and support locally owned bookstores near you, try our local business search.

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