An End to Beloved Bookstores?

Photo courtesy of Samantha Bradley

Photo courtesy of Samantha Bradley

Photo courtesy of Samantha Bradley

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Photo courtesy of Samantha Bradley

Photo courtesy of Samantha Bradley


By Samantha Bradley

As an obsessed reader from childhood, I would be distraught if bookstores vanished. I especially enjoy a trip to Barnes & Noble. Only a five minute trip from my house, the store is my sanctuary.

Barnes & Noble has changed over the years though.

When I stroll into the store, behold! The Nook display nearly hits me. Behind it lie shelves of activity kits, games, toys, puzzles, and finally books. Whatever happened to a bookstore filled solely with books?

“I like the little puzzles and games,” said sophomore Emily Thompson. “But I’d rather the ratio be more books than games.”

Of course, modern technology brought electronic readers. E-readers have plenty of fancy features and bookstores struggle to compete.

“I read off my kindle, but it’s not as amazing as real books,” said Molly Murphy, junior.

E-readers actually contributed to the death of Tacoma’s Borders bookstore. That combined with debt and excessive focus on music sales buried the Borders company six feet underground.

Barnes & Noble had no choice but to create the Nook and non-book products. Now, more and more publishers are stepping away from Barnes & Noble and towards online sellers.

Sales have been declining since 2006. Barnes & Noble plans to close over 100 stores this year.

“The problem with Barnes & Noble is that it’s hard to run a big corporation,” said librarian Mrs. Gould.

Barnes & Noble’s efforts to adapt prove that it will be around for a while. However, technology may sweep every book off the shelves one day.

“We need to support bookstores, otherwise they’ll go away,” said Gould.

Only time will tell the fate of bookstores.

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An End to Beloved Bookstores?