Seth Godin may be my favorite business guru. I think he writes the most interesting blog on business and marketing topics. Just about all his ideas and business comments are dead on. Shown below is a comment from a recent entry by Seth that I would disagree with him and where I hope he's wrong.
"Amazon and the Kindle have killed the bookstore. Why? Because people who buy 100 or 300 books a year are gone forever. The typical American buys just one book a year for pleasure. Those people are meaningless to a bookstore. It's the heavy users that matter, and now officially, as 2009 ends, they have abandoned the bookstore. It's over."
I would like to categorize myself as a heavy user of reading materials. I probably read 100 books or more a year including the purchase of 40-45 books a year. In addition, I may buy between 80-100 magazines annually. 90% of my purchases are completed from the cashier at the bookstore.
I don't own a Kindle. I don't want a Kindle. I do not see how it improves one's reading experience. I don't see it as very cost effective at this point. Kindles and other electronic readers are not cheap. Nor are the books and magazines that you can buy and download.
I may be atypical but I enjoy the experience of browsing for books and other materials in a bookstore.
There is one huge factor that I think is hurting bookstores more than Amazon and Kindles and it deals with product.
There aren't a lot of good new books to get excited about and read, even for those with varied literary tastes. The typical American who is only buying one book a year may be limiting their purchases because publishers are not developing or marketing the kinds of books that they want to read.