Bookstores Are Not Dead, or Are They?

Two conflicting reports this week about the state of book sales. Today, we have author Ann Patchett introducing us to the neighborhood bookstore she has opened in Nashville, TN and that she says is doing quite well.

That’s welcome news. But it runs counter to a more dire report that came earlier in the week from National Public Radio stating that book sales, even for books that are considered successful, are so low it’s almost impossible for authors to make a living off their writing now.

It’s true most small publishers don’t have huge budgets to pay authors for their work. I hope it’s also true that people are remembering — or rediscovering — the value of neighborhood bookstores. I also think that even if bookstores are struggling at the moment, that doesn’t mean people aren’t reading; it may be that they’re reading material delivered in different ways than in the past.

And about reading here’s something from Ann Patchett that I know is absolutely true:

Books give us empathy; they allow us to go into someone else’s life and step inside their skin and see the world through their eyes. And that’s what makes us more compassionate people….Reading for me has always been the greatest comfort in my life and as long as I had a book–any book–I’m not alone. — Bestselling Author, Ann Patchett




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