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I don't think used bookstores are going to do too good

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June 05, 2012 – Comments (3)

So I got this Kindle Fire just before Christmas. And I've really come to like it, the reading experience is very pleasant and the Wifi download is very fast. And with Amazon Prime, there is a lot of stuff to read for free. And yesterday as I drove past the used bookstore that I have an account at, it hit me that I hadn't been in it since I got the Kindle. And realized that I probably won't be going back anytime soon.  And that got me to thinking.

I suspect that niche bookstores that handle a very specific type of book will probably do ok. There will be lots of stuff that won't be converted to an ebook format and things like the 1954 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships will always have some value. Likewise for Science Fiction and various other specialty subjects. But I think the general run of used books stores are going to be hurting and eventually killed as more readers move to ebook use and the Guttenberg project gets more old texts on line. Eventually everything older than 75 years will be available free if anyone cares about it. I'm starting to get rid of books that I realize I never want to read again. I suspect this is part of a general trend.

Interestingly enough the game console companies look like they are going to put the squeeze on Gamestop by making it difficult to resell games. So I think they get slowly crushed too as people go to either the Angry Birds style of games on pad computers, or buy a license for Call Of Gears 14 at Amazon. 

3 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 06, 2012 at 12:05 PM, lemoneater (79.38) wrote:

How sad! I agree with you. About the only place I can find old used books in Greenville is at a large antique mall. Another used book store I went to has recently changed its stock to very slightly used modern authors at prices only slightly better than Barnes and Noble. With lot less floor space it can hardly compete. I have no interest in going back since I can get those titles easily on my Nook if I wanted them. It used to be a fantastic place to get classic mysteries and sci-fi--two of my favorite genres. But now its selection is more generic.

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#2) On June 06, 2012 at 12:44 PM, rhallbick (99.72) wrote:

Analog - > Digital

-         books

-         movies

-         music

-         letters

-         newspapers & magazines

-         shopping

-         meetings

-         advertising

-         telephoning

-         photography

-         financial transactions

-         maps

-         games

-         tax computation & filing

-         public surveys

-         store checkouts

Maybe to come:

-         political voting:  Why not vote online with links to more information about the candidates and their platforms?  You just need publicly available computers for people without access to one.

-         health monitoring:  I think a lot more will be done in the future combining individual DNA mapping, online databases of medical knowledge and relatively simple in-home test equipment (such as for blood pressure measurement).

-         education:  I estimate 70% of education could be done online.  I would think that some things, like learning to read and write, require the hands-on approach and some things, like lab work, require shared capital equipment and supervision.  But you don't need to be at a school to read or listen to a lecture or take a test.

-         paper & printers:  I hardly use my computer printer anymore.  Everything desired is saved digitally.  Schools are moving to digital for assignment submittals.  Digital signatures are replacing previous print and sign requirements.

"I'm starting to get rid of books that I realize I never want to read again."  Don't get rid of One Up on Wall Street.  Just sayin'. 

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#3) On June 06, 2012 at 1:40 PM, chk999 (99.98) wrote:

"I'm starting to get rid of books that I realize I never want to read again."  Don't get rid of One Up on Wall Street.  Just sayin'. 

 Nope, that one is worth re-reading again and again! 

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