Original question from Quora:

Will physical book stores like Barnes and Noble ever die?

My Answer:

Bookstores will go away just like record stores and other niche physical media stores. Books will take longer, but they still will disappear eventually. I think used bookstores will last a bit longer than something like Barnes and Noble, but author and reader behavior is changing fast.

For example, In writing my first book, I haven’t even considered making a physical book or working with a traditional publisher. If it starts selling well, that changes things.

The mindset of authors is to get books in front of people and platforms like Kindle or NOOK are much more appealing than the traditional publishing model.

Readers want digital books on their phones, tablets, and e-readers. It’s the direction everything is heading.

So, in light of all of that, it seems like brick and mortar stores are going to be a niche thing that is for hardcore bookworms. If it goes like music and video games, you will have niche used bookstores that cater to hardcore readers. It won’t be large bookstores with lots of the latest bestsellers.

My guess is the bookstore of the future will be more like a coffee shop with a selection of used or niche books. I don’t think the economics of running Barnes And Noble will work out long term.

-Brian

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