Town Square

Post a New Topic

The fate of independent bookstores

Original post made by Stephanie on Oct 16, 2006

This article in the Mecury

Web Link

says that independent bookstores such as Kepler's can't compete with Borders, Amazon, and Costco etc. and so are likely to fail unless customers choose to subsidize their existence.

It's not just the Internet and big box stores contributing to the decline of independent bookstores. It's also the libraries that are offering new services that allow readers to reserve books and request purchases and even receive email notification when a desired book is available. Unless I want to own a book for reference or am desperate right before a plane trip, I hardly ever buy a book these days. Is this a bad thing? Well, maybe is is bad for booksellers, but in general, I think not. In fact, I like to think of this as my way of reducing my carbon load and helping to preserve a few more trees.

Comments (1)

Posted by J.L., a resident of Ventura
on Oct 16, 2006 at 10:56 pm

No doubt about it, many local independents are challenged. This is a multi-faceted problem - one that can only be dealt with by individual independent bookstores, one at a time. There is no universal solution.

Kepler's is essentially on life support, with consumers having to make a conscious decision to shop there, if they want the store to remain. Music shops like Tower records are having similar problems.

What most don't know is that when Amazon was starting up, and making a beginning impact, the American Booksellers Assn. has planned a comprehensive commerce environment that would have worked much like Amazon does, today. That idea died, for lack of interest and will. Whose fault is that.

In a way , small independents that are in trouble have brought many of their current problems on themselves, in spite a popular notions to the contrary.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Palo Alto quietly gets new evening food truck market
By Elena Kadvany | 3 comments | 3,133 views

On Tour - The Highly Selective Liberal Arts Colleges: Occidental, Pitzer, and Scripps
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,891 views

See Me. Hear Me. Donít Fix Me.
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,607 views

Foothills Park: a world away
By Sally Torbey | 9 comments | 1,486 views

Candidate Kickoff Events: Public, not just for supporters
By Douglas Moran | 6 comments | 875 views