This is not a post about an endangered biological species. According to an article posted at Entrepreneur.com, record stores, newspapers (at least in paper format), and used bookstores are facing extinction. Remnil at the Ann Arbor District Library blog thinks that the independent bookstore is in more danger than the used bookstore. I've noticed the doors shutting on lots of record stores as MP3s become the medium of choice for music lovers. (Should we even call them record stores? Very few of them have "vinyl" anymore.) I can also see the change in the ways that news is being delivered; however, I have a little bit of hope that small community papers might actually survive. The Sunday paper might survive longer than the weekday paper if they would give it a shot! As far as used bookstores, I see no decrease in their popularity in the Knoxville area. I think some of the smaller ones might not survive, but the larger ones like McKay's in Knoxville seem to still be thriving. Independent bookstores are becoming less plentiful in the days of Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million. I think there are some markets where these can still survive with careful marketing and with targeting special audiences. (At least, I hope they will survive.) I will admit that I buy most of my new books online but it's because I'm only aware of two bookstores in Morristown. One of those is small and in the mall way on the other side of town. I don't go to the mall that often. (I much prefer the newer malls that are more like shopping centers where you can go to a single store without having to hope you can find a parking place close to the entrance closest to the store you want to visit and hoping you remembered exactly where the store is.) The other is the Christian bookstore. I do go there some, but they don't sell history books or mysteries (except for a handful of Christian mysteries) which are the two categories of books from which I purchase the most new books. Although I love Borders and Barnes & Noble in Knoxville and Books-A-Million in Sevierville, it's far easier and usually cheaper to just order them online. There are even a couple of independent bookstores I like in Knoxville. I really don't want to see bookstores of any type extinct.
One bright spot from the article . . . telemarketing calls are also on the extinction list!