SURVEY: How Long Can Bookstores Survive as Purveyors of Print?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief

Yes, bookstores are an integral part of our business. They remain the core of our business. They are the key to book discovery for the vast majority of book buyers.

Alas, I foresee a “demographic cliff” forthcoming. Print is holding steady in sales, supported in a large part by generations weaned on the printed book. And a big fat population of baby boomers, now heading into retirement, will continue to buy them for the foreseeable future. Generation X, also weaned on print books will likely continue to support physical stores as well. But the next generation and the next…the number of readers who will be “born digital” grows with each passing year continues to grow and it’s not outrageous to foresee a time when print becomes a niche product and bookstores will have transformed from purveyors of print into something else: digital repositories, community cultures centers…

How many more years can bookstores survive as purveyors of print?

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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.