Are Bookstores Becoming Outdated?

I love a good read. While I haven't sat down and read a book in a little while, I have found myself often times getting engrossed in a book and not being able to put it down. I'm sure most of you know by now that Borders book store is going out of business and selling all of their books at a fraction of the price. I've grown up going to Borders whenever I wanted to find something to read. They had a large selection of material, and I could generally find anything I wanted. While I thought most Borders buildings would stay vacant for a while, Books-A-Million recently struck a deal to move into the buildings and open up their business. For those of you who don't know, Books-A-Million is the second largest bookstore chain in the country, second to Barnes & Noble. In today's day in age, I feel like fewer people are buying their books from stores and instead purchasing them online. Sites like Amazon often times have new or used books at a fraction of the cost. When I look and see how technology has changed in my life, I wonder how long the bookstore will be around.

One of my favorite movies is You've Got Mail (go ahead...you can judge me). I think in terms of a romantic comedy, it has a perfect blend of both romance and comedy. Meg Ryan own the "Shop Around the Corner" and Tom Hanks is one of the heads of "Fox Books". Anyway, by the end of the movie, Meg Ryan is forced to close her shop due to Tom Hanks and his bookstore undercutting her prices. At the end of the day, all is well because the fall in love (like any other romantic comedy). Isn't that a lovely story?

So what's my point? My point is this. I feel like the big chain bookstores are fast becoming obselete in today's day in age and they are becoming the new "Shop Around the Corner". Sure they are doing okay right now (well...except Borders), but the digital age is taking over. People are buying Nooks and Kindles and downloading books rather than buying the actual copy. I still enjoy turning pages of a book and will probably never buy an electronic reader. I still enjoy finding a great deal on a book though, and I have found that shopping online is generally cheaper than buying a book brand new in person. Now, this is not always the case, but most big chain bookstores don't carry used books. It's hard to compete with companies that carry the same books at a fraction of the cost. If you compare used books to new books, generally speaking the only difference is that the used book may be a little tattered. Other then that, it reads the same way that a new book will. It may not have that "new book smell" but it'll still end the same way that any other copy will.

I'm excited to see what Books-A-Million has to offer Maine, but I have to be honest when I say I am skeptical. They may survive for a little while, but in the end, I see the internet soon dominating the book world and the big book stores fizzling out.

Do you buy your books online or in stores?

Seth P.