Friday, September 30, 2011

The Value of Bookstores in an Ebook Age

The Value of Bookstores in an eBook Age
by Frank Hall

Ebooks are a wonderful thing to the book industry. They have increased the number of readers, and more books are being sold now then ever before. But there are still things that a bookstore can do for you that you can't get from surfing a website.

First, there is that personal touch. In our store we know our customers, and we know what they read. We can help find books that you might like, even when you are not in the store. Not every book is available as an ebook,and we can find those out of print ones for you.

Another advantage that I think we have as a physical store front is the ability to look at the book before you buy. Yes, I know nearly everyone offering ebooks now have the option of downloading a sample to read. But it is always the beginning of the book. Many of our customers flip to the middle of the book, and sometimes the end, to see what the writing is like there. Sometimes the first chapter or two of the book is not enough to decide if you want to invest your time in reading it.

Talking with people online is fine, going to a forum and using facebook to discuss the book you just read is great, but there is something about that human interaction face to face that appeals to everyone at some point in time.

What better place to talk about books than a bookstore? Well, maybe a library, but you have to be quiet there. Come in, sit down, and have a nice chat about books with us or a fellow customer. We see it happen all the time, and 9 times out of 10 you will learn of a new author you haven't read that you are going to pick up and try.

Despite naysayers, print books are not going away anytime soon. Ebooks have just helped spawn a change in the industry. For the better, in my opinion, as I stated in the opening. More books being sold more readers out there. What could be better then that?

But the smell of old books is still the best smell in the world!

-Frank Hall
Owner of That Book Place and Hydra Publications

Visit the sites for That Book Place and Hydra Publications:


  1. I agree with the flipping to other parts of the book beyond the beginning.

  2. I feel strongly about the community that builds around a good independent bookstore, like Frank talks about in relation to knowing his customers well. You can see this dynamic anytime you are in a good independent bookstore, and I think that in the long run it will be part of what helps the indie bookstores make a good comeback. This was/is lacking in many chainstores.