The Future of E-Books
From the New York Times
Carolyn Reidy, the chief executive of Simon & Schuster, said in an interview that e-books currently made up about 8 percent of the company’s book revenue. She predicted that it could be as high as 40 percent within three to five years.
Iris Reeves, a 53-year-old administrative assistant in East Texas, is one of the bookstore holdouts. Nearly every weekend, she and her husband drive 60 miles to the nearest Barnes & Noble for a long browsing session. She buys several paperbacks (thrillers, science fiction and paranormal romance) and he buys nonfiction (with a few auto magazines thrown in).
She has watched with alarm as dozens of bookstores, both independents and chains like Crown Books, have disappeared. Beyond Barnes & Noble and Borders, the only other retailers nearby that sell new books, she said, are religious bookstores.
The changes at B&N
At the expansive Barnes & Noble store in Manhattan’s Union Square, the changes sweeping the company and the industry are on full display. Shelves have been stripped bare to make room for toys and games, as a sign dangling from the ceiling cheerfully announces.
On the consumer’s side:
Samantha Robinson, a 24-year-old student, paused outside the Union Square store last week, a newly purchased Nook in her hand.
“I’m going to buy as many books as I can on the e-reader, because they’re less expensive,” Ms. Robinson said.
And if she stopped buying print books altogether? “I wouldn’t miss it,” she said.