Monday, March 4, 2013

Book Store Stuff

I went to Barnes & Noble yesterday because I had a gift card to spend there. Yes, I have a Nook and could have just spent it all on ebooks right from the comfort of my own desk. But I happen to love print books as well. OK, yes, I could have ordered print books from the comfort of my own desk, too. Fine, I wanted to browse, in 3D. People still do that, ya know.

Well, sorta. It's limited these days though. You see, the B&N near me is being rather quickly overtaken by "stuff." I've written about this before (not bothering to look up the link) so forgive me if I repeat myself. But why does a bookstore need 27 different kinds of jigsaw puzzles on the floor? Why so many desk accessories? And fandom paraphernalia galore??

I wanted to buy The Paladin Prophecy while I was there. I just got through reading it--library book--and loved it so much I wanted a copy all my own. (You can read my review on Amazon and Goodreads. Same at both, but a person needs choices.)

The book was nowhere to be found. This book is published by a big publisher. It's new. It's getting great reviews. But the teen section of B&N is really the teen paranormal romance section, and slim pickins at that.

Nothing on the shelves by Scott Westerfeld, either. Really? Not a single one of his books? And some of the biggest teen books out there were oddly absent. There was all of two rows of teen books, and most of the books sat face-out. Is that significant? I think so. You can draw your own conclusions.

The trip depressed me. Partly because I made that trip and still had to come home and order the book I wanted online--from Amazon, I tell ya, because I spent most of my gift card on a drawing book and a notebook of blank music paper for my daughter--and then used what was left on the card to buy ebooks from a couple of INDIE authors:

Task Force Gaea by David Berger, whom I met a the Necronomicon.

Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves by James Matlack Raney whom the aforementioned David Berger highly recommended.

On the other hand, it made me feel better about the fact that my books aren't on those shelves, and likely never will be. Not because I'm not good enough to be part of the elite, but because if big press authors aren't there it's no great insult for my small-press book to not be there. AND because....

It really sank in that brick and mortar book stores are becoming obsolete. They're carrying more and more stuff, and fewer books. The one by me never has author signings either--even big names. The personal touch is being lost. I won't have my books on B&N shelves because soon there either won't be B&N anymore, or it will be something completely other than a bookstore.

There was a time when I said I would lay down and demand to buried with the bookstore. Now....


10 comments:

Kessie said...

How fares your local library, though? Our library is stocked to the gills with the latest hot YA offerings, and I've been thrilled to be able to constantly pick up new titles.

Our Barnes and Noble is the same way--mostly stuff and a coffee shop. It might be a fun place to take your laptop and write, though. :-)

Kat Heckenbach said...

Our library is kickin'. Lots of great YA books, all the latest!

They still won't carry MINE, but the system in the next county over does. (Figure that one out.)

lisagodfrees said...

What a sad post. In the future, our kids will be saying..."Do you remember back when books were *paper*?"

Kat Heckenbach said...

I don't think paper books are going to go away completely, but I think bookstores are. At least the way they are now.

My son is nearly 13 and *refuses* to read ebooks. He says he loves the "feel" of a paper book in his hand.

And SO many bloggers will NOT take ebooks for review--which is one reason I have a hard time finding blog reviewers. I don't care what research says--all the teens I know want paper books.

Caprice Hokstad said...

Ooo, can I operate the wrecking ball? I love ebooks. I love reading them and I love selling them. Paper has only been a dead-end headache for me as an author, so I am not at all sorry to see paperbacks go the way of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Yes, they'll still be around. Yes, some people will INSIST to buy their books that way, and as long as it costs me nothing to offer them that way, I will, However, the minute CreateSpace charges me for the privilege of leaving the file on their servers when they have so little interest, that's when it'll be bye-bye.

I bet most of the resistant teens won't be as resistant when they OWN iPads or whatever will be hot and new when they have jobs and more time for leisure reading because they are finally done with school. I gave my 18 year old son an Android (a cheap $69 one) for Christmas and he is DEVOURING Kindle books like never before now. And I didn't even really have that in mind when I gave it to him. I was thinking Facebook, YouTube and maybe Netflix (the things he uses the desktop computer for). He uses it more as a Kindle-reader than just about anything else!

Jill said...

Maybe somebody will create a jigsaw puzzle that, when you put it together, has the entire text to Hamlet or Jane Eyre on it. In really small print. So small that you can't read it, especially when it's hidden in the folds of tea roses, etc. etc.

Kat Heckenbach said...

Caprice, that may be true, but I also know teens who have tried ereaders and tablets and still want paper. I think books will always be printed to some level--maybe it will switch to completely POD, or those printing kiosks or something.

And it may mean that YA teen fiction is a main area where print stays alive even if adults mostly switch to ebooks. Or, with the kids who are really small reading books on tablets, that generation will become teens who've never even held paper books.

Kat Heckenbach said...

LOL, Jill. Yeah, that may be the only way we can books in B&N someday--they have to be printed on puzzles or toys :P.

Caprice Hokstad said...

I hate it when browsers don't tell me what ID I am signed in as so I look like I'm fighting with myself.

There will always be people who LIKE paper books, teen and adult. But I think there's a difference between teens who prefer paper when they aren't paying the bills (mom and dad buy them books) and how they may feel when they have to pay themselves. Also, I can see that some teens would see ebook readers as just another gadget they don't want to have to carry, but if it is integrated into a big ticket item like iPad that they have EVERYTHING ELSE on, then it is already with them. When we have ipad-like things that are integrated into glasses and have Xbox 9000's and Netflix and Amazon and phones and virtual reality and who-knows-what-else and "every" adult has them like they all have smart phones now, well, said teens MAY change their minds about the idea of carrying around old-fashioned, bulky, expensive, paper books. But there will always be the stubborn...

Kat Heckenbach said...

Oh, I understand! I do think as someone gets older--out of teen year--and they have to pay for all of their own stuff, and ebooks are cheaper and easier to carry, etc, there will be more and more of the "paper" teens who'll switch.

I can say, though, myself--as someone who has an ereader and loves it--I'm finding myself going back to more paper books. I read pre-published manuscripts and ebooks that are SO MUCH CHEAPER on my ereader. But I'm finding I miss certain things about paper books. Like being able to give them away when I'm done if it's not a book I want in my permanent collection (I feel guilty deleting them) or loaning them out to more than the allotted *one* person. Or just being able to brown the shelf in my living room and not have to scroll through pages to see what books I have.