Prospect of physical bookstores

Prospect of physical bookstores - 1 Running head Prospect...

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1 Running head: Prospect of physical bookstores Prospect of physical bookstores How can physical bookstores in urban U.S. survive in early 21st century? Yanbo Song University of Illinois
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2 Abstract Unfinished Introduction and threatens The history of reading books in North America might date back to when Columbus aware of American continents, but the first book printed in what is now the United States is believed to be “The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre”, or better known as ”The Bay Psalm Book”, which was printed in 1604. In the following centuries, according to Luey (2007), publishing remained an occupation for privileged class and not became a purely commercial venture until the period from 1890 to 1910. Throughout the 19th century, dime novels, inexpensive reprints, and “cheap libraries” provided small volumes for a nickel or a dime. With extremely low prices, paperback books had to sell in huge numbers to be profitable. Hence there were not enough American booksellers, at that time, willing to sell paperback books for “only a quarter”, and paperback publishers used the magazine distribution system, selling through drugstores, tobacco shops, railroad station, and other outlets frequented by people who had never entered a bookstore. However, the wheel of history kept rolling on. As early as the 1940s, paperback houses began issuing larger-format, more durable, and more expensive trade paperbacks along with their inexpensive mass-market paperback books. In 1953, the first all-paperback bookstore in U.S., City Lights, was founded in San Francisco. By 1960, 85 percent of American booksellers sold paperbacks, and by the mid-1970s, paperbacks were fully integrated into the universe of authors, publishers, booksellers, and readers. Business world has always been rapidly changing out of imagination, so as to the bookseller industry. While traditional bookstores accumulated immense profits 2
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3 Prospect of physical bookstores and reputation, revolutionary technology inspired numerous attempts of new book- selling modes. From the beginning of the digital revolution, commentators have examined the prospects for the traditional physical bookstores and wondered whether they can survive in this information-exploding age, an age when text can be accessed all over the world through a variety of devices, and when the book competes with many other forms of entertainment, according to Phillips (2007). The news that Borders Group Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 protection and also plans to close 30% of its stores doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Most of studies and critiques have shown their concerns about the prospects and potential of physical bookstores, which can be generalized into three aspects. I. Online bookstores are believed to have grabbed the competitive advantage of
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2012 for the course ESL 501 taught by Professor Spear,a during the Spring '08 term at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

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Prospect of physical bookstores - 1 Running head Prospect...

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