It is sad to see ‘Buy the Book’ empty on the Avenue. The notices that it was closing had been up for a whicle but you don’t really register that a store is going until it’s gone. It’s a shame – I liked ‘Buy the Book’. The staff were friendy – they used to let us borrow their card stands for our exhibitions – and it was the best place locally to get ‘proper’ childrens books. But like some many other independent bookstores it closed. British bookshops are going the ame way as british bee’s – slowly disappearing from our landscape.
Why? Well there is no doubt that the sector as a whole is undergoing massive change. Borders went bust not too long ago. Amazon has a huge market share. I buy loads of books, and to be honest whilst I might browse in Buy the Book I nearly always purchase online. I always get a discount and with Prime delivery to the door how can local retailers compete? Little wonder that over the last couple of years bookshops have been closing at the rate of 2 a week.
And it looks as though it is going to get worse. Kindle could be the paperback killer. The most wished for gift on Amazon; the bestselling item on Amazon. What does every Kindle owner do. Go and buy some ebooks; and if they’re buying ebooks they are not buying paperbacks in local bookshops. If I was a retailer I’d be worried – the top selling books in the US at the moment are all ebook versions.
It can’t have helped Buy the book having the Oxfam Bookshop next door either.
So Bye Bye Buy the Book, we salute you, thankyou for all you did – here’s hoping you are not replaced by another estate agent / coffee shop or charity outlet.