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Speak Out: Do You Still Shop At Bookstores?

Barnes & Noble has announced poor holiday sales, according to published reports.

Is the age of the bookstore over?

That’s a question some are asking after Borders shut its doors nationwide, including the location in Columbia, and Barnes & Noble recently announced poor holiday sales, including declines in sales of its e-reader, the Nook tablet, The New York Times reported.

A failed Barnes & Noble could create nearly a dozen vacancies in Maryland, including stores in Ellicott City, Frederick and Pikesville, although company representatives told the Baltimore Business Journal in November it planned to maintain a “strong Baltimore presence,” the publication reported.

The region has also seen its exodus of smaller, independently owned bookstores.

In May of 2012, Eldersburg Patch reported the closing of one of Carroll County’s last independent bookstores: The Little Professor Book Store, which had been open for 35 years.

The closing of The Little Professor Book Store followed the closings of other bookstores in Carroll County, including Locust Books in Westminster and Waldenbooks in TownMall, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Meanwhile, e-readers have gained popularity.

A program in Howard County libraries that lends out Nook e-readers had a line of more than 500 waiting to check out the device eight months after its inception, reported Columbia Patch in July of 2011.

In January of 2012, CNN reported that the number of adults who owned tablets “increased from 10% in mid-December to 19% in early January.”

Tell us in story comments: Do you still like to shop at bookstores? Or have you completely made the switch to e-readers?

See related links:

Nook E-Readers In Demand From Howard County Libraries

Barnes & Noble Faces Steep Challenge as Holiday Nook Sales Decline

Ownership of tablets, e-readers almost doubles in one month

Gabrielle Donnald January 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM
I haven't shopped in a brick-and-mortar bookstore in years. Amazon has great selection and much better prices than brick-and-mortar stores. I can't afford to pay full price for so many books, so having the option of buying used copies or deeply discounted copies is great. Also, Amazon ships quickly so I get my books within a couple of days. I know that's not a popular viewpoint, when we're supposed to buy local, but price and selection matter!
RJ Teich January 11, 2013 at 03:28 PM
I still shop at bookstores, but it never fails when a book comes out that I would like to see before purchase, I can't find in a store. Then it makes perfect sense to shop online. How many bookstores do you run to to still not find what you are looking to buy? I have an e-reader, but have not made the switch completely.
Jack Downs January 11, 2013 at 03:35 PM
I love independent bookstores. Another dying breed. As RJ mentions above, I seldom go to the store looking for a particular read. But I love the promise of shelves and shelves of wisdom, tantalizing in their gaudy or muted promise. Two of my favorites are Ookazoo Books in Towson and The Likely Story in Sykesville. Did you know the Likely Story has a fantastic childrens room in back? Bundle up the preschooler, set him or her down in front of the wooden trains, and go shelf-surfing to your heart's content!
Cindy January 11, 2013 at 04:19 PM
I still shop in independent bookstores! There's nothing like walking into a shop and seeing shelves upon shelves of books. I shop at A Likely Story, and it's a wonderful experience every time. Not in stock? They'll have it for you in a day or two. No shipping fees either! Between the author visits, children's programs and bookclubs, it's much more than just a store....
srfrgirl4 January 14, 2013 at 08:18 PM
I can't afford to buy books either...I go to the Eldersburg library...may have to wait a little longer, but worth it

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