blog It’s hard to see how anyone who owns either an Amazon Kindle or an iPad right now can see any future at all for bricks and mortar bookshops, given the power and speed of instant global distribution over the Internet. After all, why would you actually prefer to waste your time going into a physical bookstore, paying more for the physical copy of a book you want, and then storing it on your shelf, when you could download a cheaper copy online instantly and read it on any of your devices?
Even die-hard readers such as yours truly (with my sizable sci-fi and fantasy library) have recently been converted to the eBook way. And, judging by comments he made in Canberra today, it appears Federal Small Business Minister Nick Sherry agrees. But not everyone else does. The Booksellers’ Association Jon Page, told the Sydney Morning Herald that:
“the minister had demonstrated ‘a distinct lack of understanding about the Australian book industry’. It seems he’d rather promote overseas businesses who do not collect much needed revenue than help the ones within his portfolio. “I doubt he’s even looked at any industry stats to make a remark like that.”
Of course, the booksellers could be right; their business model might not be based on an increasingly outdated distribution premise and last century’s technology. Or maybe … just maybe … a Federal politicial has finally got something right about technology. Let’s revisit this in five years and see, shall we?
Image credit: Amazon