Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Contributor
fanmynook
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎01-01-2011
0 Kudos

Re: Do we really need big box bookstores?

I love my Nook dearly, but I can't imagine losing the joy of wandering through a bookstore and the joy of looking and touching the books and magazines! There is a Borders that I am particularly fond of, that just draws you in. It has the little cafe with plenty of space for sitting with a cup of coffee and browsing, and lots of good sized spaces within the store to sit and lose yourself in your favorite book section.  Maybe it's just time for bookstores to change a little with the times. There are a few bookstores in my area that are strictly "stores", and although I visit  them, I don't spend the same kind of time, or make as many purchases as I do at my favorite, where I consistently make purchases of books I have come across in my happy wanderings. I think bookstores need to think about being places that give book lovers the aesthetic joys they crave, and become gathering places for readers. Comfortable social spots, where we can talk and share recommendations, hold book club meetings, spend a cozy Friday evening, and enjoy the purchase of a new hard copy, or download a new digital copy. I love to shop for books online for my Nook, but nothing will replace a really good bookstore!

Distinguished Scribe
Schwa
Posts: 1,000
Registered: ‎11-18-2010

Re: Do we really need big box bookstores?

[ Edited ]

Looking at my own personal shopping habits:

 

1) I don't like shopping online for books, I like the expeience of browsing, finding something (discovery!) and taking it home with me that day.  Not that I NEVER shop online, I just prefer an in-store LOCAL experience.  There's nothing like getting "lost" in a giant bookstore, and having your wife get mad because she can't find you  :smileyhappy:

 

2) I prefer the options available in a larger store.  The smaller bookstores basically stock bestsellers, and that is just not enough for me.  Sure, they can order me something, but I refer back to point #1

 

3) Larger bookstores have coffee shops  :smileyhappy:

 

4) Used bookstores are great, but a completely different experience altogether, similar to including libraries in this conversation.

 

So, yes, I think there is room for big boxes.  I just think the market has been a little oversaturated recently.

 

edit:  I also find it interesting that I notice people in B&N with their NOOKs browsing the shelves for something to buy on the device.  Nothing beats the browsing experience, even if the delivery method is changing...

Contributor
cms1171CS
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎11-28-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Do we really need big box bookstores?

As much as I love my Nook and reading books on my Nook, I hate the thought of losing bookstores, including the big box stores.

 

I come from a family of readers, and I remember going into Bookstop, which was once a big bookstore in Austin TX, and all of us just kind of wandering in different directions, taking it all in. We never left without buying something.

 

Bookstop is long gone now, though B&N of course  is still in the area and a few Borders stores. Over the years, many a book has been purchaased at Sam'sClub because of the prices on new releases.

 

Now we're a Nook family, which is great, but I still can't fathom losing all bookstores.

Inspired Wordsmith
NJMetal
Posts: 219
Registered: ‎01-13-2010

Re: Do we really need big box bookstores?

 

Are those of us who have moved to digital with Nooks and Kindles contributing to the demise of the big box bookstores we enjoy so much?


 

The rise of eBooks certainly does factor into the financial woes of the retail book industry.  eBooks are not the ONLY factor, defiantly not the leading factor either.  The smart retailers (like B&N) will incorporate this into their business model.  Walk into any Barnes and Noble nowadays and you will see a large area of floor space dedicated to selling the Nook.

 

That brings me to my next point.  Your use of the word 'demise'.  I don't like it.  Demise as defined at Dictonary.com is the termination of existence or operation.  This is not at all what is happening with big box stores.  The number of big book retails stores will certainly be shrinking but they will not, on the whole, be going away. 

 

For my money, I would replace the word 'demise' with the word 'evolution'.  Let's try it.  "Are those of us who have moved to digital with Nooks and Kindles contributing to the EVOLUTION of the big box bookstores we enjoy so much?"  Yes!  That feels better.  More positive.  More practical.  More realistic.

 

So, no, big retail bookstores are not going anywhere in my opinion.  They are evolving into something different from what we've become accustomed to.  Just as mom and pops evolved into mall based chains the begat stand alone super stores that begat ubiquitous online book stores.    I don't believe it's a change for the worse, I believe it's a change to survive.  And survive they will.

"We always condemn most in others, that which we fear most in ourselves." -Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Do we really need big box bookstores?

 


NJMetal wrote:

 

Are those of us who have moved to digital with Nooks and Kindles contributing to the demise of the big box bookstores we enjoy so much?


 

The rise of eBooks certainly does factor into the financial woes of the retail book industry.  eBooks are not the ONLY factor, defiantly not the leading factor either.  The smart retailers (like B&N) will incorporate this into their business model.  Walk into any Barnes and Noble nowadays and you will see a large area of floor space dedicated to selling the Nook.

 

That brings me to my next point.  Your use of the word 'demise'.  I don't like it.  Demise as defined at Dictonary.com is the termination of existence or operation.  This is not at all what is happening with big box stores.  The number of big book retails stores will certainly be shrinking but they will not, on the whole, be going away. 

 

For my money, I would replace the word 'demise' with the word 'evolution'.  Let's try it.  "Are those of us who have moved to digital with Nooks and Kindles contributing to the EVOLUTION of the big box bookstores we enjoy so much?"  Yes!  That feels better.  More positive.  More practical.  More realistic.

 

So, no, big retail bookstores are not going anywhere in my opinion.  They are evolving into something different from what we've become accustomed to.  Just as mom and pops evolved into mall based chains the begat stand alone super stores that begat ubiquitous online book stores.    I don't believe it's a change for the worse, I believe it's a change to survive.  And survive they will.


Hope you are right, NJMetal!

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Distinguished Wordsmith
MWorrell
Posts: 307
Registered: ‎04-05-2010

Re: Do we really need big box bookstores?

Thoughtful responses... nice.

 

Another development that is going to hit books stores is the arrival of inline, on demand book printing and binding.

 

I was just touring a client's production floor, and they have a press about the size of three refrigerators that can produce a single copy of a full color book, bound in soft cover. It looks just as good as a typical retail book in print quality and binding quality. So essentially, you could have a store with zero inventory in soft covers, that offers printing of any book on demand. Perhaps the only thing they would stock is deluxe edition hardcovers, with those types of presentations selling at a premium for book lovers.

 

 

Inspired Contributor
Bearsstar
Posts: 47
Registered: ‎01-30-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Do we really need big box bookstores?

When you asked "Do we need big box bookstores?", I took some time before I replied with my answer.  Since I am an "old fart", I have to say yes we do need big bookstores.  Maybe not one on every corner, LOL! But close enough. 

I worry that one day soon, we won't have any book stores because everything has gone electronic.  Now you have the eBook, nooks, Ipads, all kinds of gadgets that you can read a book from, that is as long as you have power or batteries.

I love going to the B&N at the Clackamas Towncenter where I can spend hours and hours going through all the sales and reduced books and things.  Unfortunately for my I also spend about three months of miscellaneous marked money at a time.  And my children and grandchildren make faces at me when they see I've added to my "to be read" books.  As the youngest grandchild said "Grandma you have more books than anything else in your house, besides your pets that is." I don't know what I would do if we no longer had those big bookstores.  They have such a variety of authors, categories, and miscellaneous items, not to mention Starbucks too! I hope in my lifetime I don't see all them disappear, even though I do see that the younger generation isn't as into reading as my generation was.  My children were brought up with books and I have three that still like reading..."when they have time" that is.:{ Have a great day and sorry if I bored you too much with this long message. LOL!

Jeanne G aka Bearsstar
Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Do we really need big box bookstores?

 


MWorrell wrote:

Thoughtful responses... nice.

 

Another development that is going to hit books stores is the arrival of inline, on demand book printing and binding.

 

I was just touring a client's production floor, and they have a press about the size of three refrigerators that can produce a single copy of a full color book, bound in soft cover. It looks just as good as a typical retail book in print quality and binding quality. So essentially, you could have a store with zero inventory in soft covers, that offers printing of any book on demand. Perhaps the only thing they would stock is deluxe edition hardcovers, with those types of presentations selling at a premium for book lovers.

 

 


 

Why did your tour description just make me drool?

 

Seriously a store like that I'd go there! Think about it; pretty flip books with titles and nice synopsis for hands on browsing, computer kiosks for the more obsure titles, A few displays of best sellers, a we printed over.. of these last week display, and a couple of print machines. Just throw in a coffee shop and you'd have a small slice of heaven.

Wordsmith
Runnergirl77
Posts: 253
Registered: ‎12-29-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Do we really need big box bookstores?

Wow, so many different trains of thought here; now I just have to figure out which station platform I'm standing on.

 

I recently got a Nook after almost a year of researching.  I love it, plain and simple.  HOWEVER, I would not choose to purchase all of my books in this format.  Novels, certainly, but for books that instructional in nature, I prefer an actual, turn the page, book.  I will still purchase some paperbacks for reading in environments where I would NEVER take an eReader, like the bathtub.  There are also books that I buy BOTH of as well, particularly if I enjoy it enough to always have it handy in whatever format I choose.  These volumes are usually found in audiobook format as well in my home.

 

That said, although eReaders have taken off in sales, I don't think that these are causing a decline in large bookstores.  Those of us who truly love to read usually love to browse as well.  Although I will purchase books online for the Nook, you will often find me taking my Nook to my local BN store, so I can peruse the covers and decide how I want to take home my books that day.  It's rather like modern eating habits; would you ALWAYS want to eat from a fast-food restaurant?  Isn't a home-cooked meal, a 4-star restaurant, or a family diner occasionally what you're truly hankering for?  Besides, when i go to BN with my Nook, they have me there to purchase a drink and a nosh in their cafe, and they keep me there with their "read for free" hours.  The folks who came up with that idea are sharp marketing employees.

 

Big box bookstores essentially "put down" many of the smaller new book retailers around here.  I can think of at least three that closed shortly after Borders opened up in the Buffalo area.  The smaller stores couldn't compete with the selection, but each store had their following.  Customer service was number one at most of these stores.  The couple that did survive here are eclectic, and follow a different drummer.  They carry more local and small-press editions than the big book chains can afford to invest in.  One of them even became "trendy and avante garde" in their atmosphere, something that has paid off well with the college crowd.

 

There are currently two BN stores in my area, as well as one Borders.  Both BN's have comfy (albeit worn) chairs to lounge in.  The Borders is rather cold in atmosphere, and there's no place to sit and read, other than the cafe.  Is it any wonder that I've become a loyal follower of Barnes & Noble?  By the way, somebody mentioned used books.  In Rochester, they have a HUGE BN, two floors, and this one has a used books section!  There's more room to actually move there than my local BN haunts, so I'm not sure if they actually have MORE inventory, and their "Nookery" is easily two to three times larger.  Both of the local BN stores in Buffalo have a "kiosk" Nook display setup, with room for an employee who knows the units.

 

Okay, I have ranted enough.  If you want to take another look at this, rent "You've Got Mail" and watch it.  They wanted to film the scenes for Fox Books at a BN store, but the retailer would have nothing to do with them, so the bookstore scenes were created in an empty Barney's Dress store.  I'd say that you could rent it from Hollywood or Blockbuster, but those are becoming a thing of the past as well.  Go find it at a RedBox kiosk in your local grocery store.  The times, they are a'changing.  It makes me wonder if eventually smaller bookstores will be able to make a come-back.

Contributor
SusanHatler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎03-05-2011
0 Kudos

Re: Do we really need big box bookstores?

The Boyfriend Bylaws  

Set Up For Love Anthology