How Should Bookstores Cope with the Ebook Era?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

Today’s lead story looks at Manhattan’s Three Lives & Co. Bookstore. One of the store’s philosophies is keep the store running very much same way it has since it opened its doors in 1968.

The question of how to cope in this era of e-books and economic recession is one facing bookstores all over the world. Should they integrate ebooks into what they offer to customers, as many of the chains have? There are technical requirements for doing that, not to mention integrating the real-life browsing experience a bookstore offers with the instant gratification of downloading an ebook. Are those two experiences compatible?

Or are customers looking for a different — perhaps more tangible — community experience from their local booksellers? Many bookstores have turned to events like readings and book clubs to keep customers returning to their stores. Should booksellers go digital? Or should they keep it, well, real?

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.