Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Traditional bookstores and digital booksellers – everyone can win

An article from Fortune, by Michael Edwards, the CEO of Borders, provides an interesting and optimistic perspective on the future of the traditional bookstore. Although Borders has recently been struggling—which many critics attribute to its lacking digital side of business—Edwards states that “there's no reason traditional bookstores and digital booksellers can't co-exist; for all their common ground, each offers a substantially different value proposition.” From his perspective, there is room for everyone to win.

Edwards goes on to state that, as the world becomes increasingly digitalized, the experience of paper books is accentuated, as the idea of reading words on paper becomes more appealing than looking at another screen. He also argues that bookstores have always been and will continue to be a social gathering place, and there are many options to add other aspects and activities that will appeal to and improve the experience of store goers—a platform on which digital-only providers cannot stand.

“The onus is on booksellers to prove their continued relevance in the digital age. If they continue to innovate in the services and experiences they offer and the ways they engage the community, consumers will continue to make bookstores a vital part of their lives. If they fail to adapt to changing market conditions and consumer needs, they'll deserve the empty aisles -- and cash registers -- that result.”


Bob Martinengo said...

"... as the world becomes increasingly digitalized, the experience of paper books is accentuated ..."

You know, this actually makes sense: paper books as a comforting, stable, non-battery-powered experience.

laura said...

Since some countries have threatened to "shut down the internet" traditional bookstores become more important than ever.