It's a real shame to see bookshops major and minor collapsing all over the place. People say there's no money in books anymore. I disagree. I can go into a bookshop for a browse and come out a hundred bucks poorer, a hundred years richer.
What bugs me is trying to order a book in. I have said many times "I want to buy from you, not some internet depository. So can you get me this particular book?" Eight weeks later, I'm still dropping in and asking whether my book has arrived. It seems there is a deal with the publishers - orders have to be backed up with twelve others from the said publisher before they can afford to send a parcel from Perth or Sydney or wherever. It's the same scenario with music. Sometimes I even get a wry face with a "Sorry, I don't think it was ordered at all," after eight weeks.
Why don't they try to flog me Ebooks or a sexy Kindle? No wonder they are going broke.
The clunkiness of this system in the face of their online competitors just frustrates the hell out of me. I'd be happy if the bookshop folk went on the internet, ordered the book straight from the publisher and charged me the commission and the postage. I'd pay for the pleasure of walking into the shop and buying a book meant just for me. (In fact, recently I made a local bookseller do that and it only worked because I knew him and told him I wasn't credit carded enough to buy it online.)
No bookshop in the universe, other than those ones that include clicking, 'shopping trolleys' and credit cards, can stock every book we could ever lust for. So why is it so hard for small bookshops to get in on the act, instead of going out of business and blaming the internet or the lack of people who happenchance their shop?
Honestly, why is it so hard?
Sorry but I have no sympathy for the broken bookshops. On the other hand perhaps it is just a Westralian thing and elsewhere there are bookshops that are embracing this new movement of literature and thriving.
... discussion is welcome.