ChrisLands Are Bookstores Dying?
ChrisLands 1 month ago

Are Bookstores Dying?

If you only read mainstream news websites, you might be under the mistaken belief that bookstores are quickly dying. Here's why we disagree and believe bookstores are here to stay.

Why Bookstores are Here to Stay

Let's take a hard look at why bookstores are actually here to stay contrary to what some may want you to believe.

Print Sales are Up

Publishers Weekly reported the astounding fact that print book sales totaled 825.7 million books in 2021 compared to 757.9 million in 2020. This represents an increase of 9.1% over that period of time, and that is such great news for independent bookstores and anyone who operates in the industry.

Online Retail Won't Replace the Charm of a Local Bookstore

There is something very impersonal about placing an order for a book that you want to read from an online bookstore. You may have greater access to be able to find the books that you need, but you aren't going to get the charm and comfort that you get at your local, independent bookstore. People still value that, and it is a driving factor in keeping the industry alive. 

Not to mention, who doesn't love the scent of old books gathered up on the shelves? If you close your eyes and think about it, you can almost put yourself into those indie bookstores without even having to try that hard. You know the feeling of being there, and you know that it is not something that can be replaced by online shopping.

Local Communities are Vibrant

In recent years, there has been a massive pushback against the idea of always shopping with the biggest players in the book market all the time. Independent bookstores have struggled for years to keep up with the scale and capacity of companies like Barnes and Noble and Amazon. 

One of the biggest upsides to shopping at indie bookstores is the fact that so much of the money that is spent remains in the local area.Medium.com reports on a study that detailed the true scale of the difference in dollars that remain in the local community when one shops locally compared to when they do not: 

The study found that spending $100 at one of the neighborhood's independent businesses created $68 in additional local economic activity while spending $100 at a chain produced only $43 worth of local impact.

That is a big difference, and it can be chopped up to a number of factors that all contribute to the ability for money to remain in the community. 

  • Labor Costs - Independent bookstores spend more money on local labor as they are far more likely to carry out most of their functions on-site instead of shipping out that labor to a headquarters far away. Thus, more money is recycled through the community time and time again. 
  • Procurement - Where is a local business going to get the goods that it needs to run its operations? The obvious (and correct) answer to this question is that they will procure most of their goods from the local community, meaning they are spending a significant amount of their funds right back into the local area. 
  • Profits - Owners of local businesses are usually residents of the area themselves. Therefore, a lot of their profits may be filtered into the local area when they buy things that they need for themselves. It is this circular way of moving money around the community that ultimately helps the local area gain even more from a local shop. 
  • Charities - Local business owners are also more likely to do most of their charitable giving in the area, as well. Thus, it makes sense that they would continue to filter even more money into local charities that can make a difference in the lives of area residents. This is very important to remember because it means that local charities will also benefit from the fact that people are making the choice to shop locally.

The Rise of BookTok

If you haven't already heard of TikTok, it is a popular platform where people can go to share their favorite short videos, ideas, thoughts, opinions, humor, and so much more. Now, people are sharing some of their favorite books on the service as well, which is causing some of those books to take off in sales. 

People are not only sharing their favorite titles, but they are recommending local bookstores and helping us all remember the charm and delight that comes with going to indie bookstores. It has people running out to go to these types of places, and that is yet another reason why independent bookstores may just survive after all.

We Believe in Bookstores and are Dedicated to Their Survival

At ChrisLands, we want to see the local bookstore survive and thrive. We believe that one of the best ways to make this happen is to help promote those bookstores with the products that we can provide them. 

The main offering that we provide for this industry iseCommerce solutions so that local bookstores can sell to the broader public when they need to. Additionally, we can provide support and other helpful resources to allow independent bookstores to continue to make their mark in the world and continue to survive and thrive. 

Owners of local bookstores can gain a lot from using our products, and that is why we ask them toregister with us so we can work with them to help save and even promote their business.

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