The New York Times published an article today with some surprising news regarding bookstores. Their holiday sales have been far better than expected, which could be a sign that bookstores will somehow find a way to survive in the age of the e-reader. According to the article,”Barnes & Noble, the nation’s largest bookstore chain, said that comparable store sales this Thanksgiving weekend increased 10.9 percent from that period last year. The American Booksellers Association, a trade group for independents, said last week that members saw a sales jump of 16 percent in the week including Thanksgiving, compared with the same period a year ago.”
The article also points out that books still make appealing presents, despite the growth of the e-reader, though it does state Barnes & Noble and Amazon are expected to have enormous sales for new e-readers and tablets.
For me, this article was unexpected good news. I’ve always been a fan of going to a bookstore and browsing for new purchases. I like plucking a book of poetry off the shelf and being able to turn the pages to get a sense of the writer’s style and form. Furthermore, I enjoy the community aspect bookstores hold, how familiar customers often stop at the cafes to chat with each other or read. A lot of my writing in the past has been done at bookstore cafes, and I’d like to see them stick around for the long haul.