An beloved independent bookstore will close its doors at the end of January. The bookstore had been serving Binghampton, New York for the past 8 years. RiverRead Books also doubled as something of a community center, hosting more than 900 public events. The owners attribute the declining sales to the rise of online sales. Although there is a Barnes and Noble in the area, the owners believed they were mainly hurt by online retailers like Amazon.
The ability of retailers, such as Amazon, to sell books at affordable discounted prices has seriously hurt smaller retailers. The owners say they believe that there is still a rather large market of readers to be tapped. However, the convenience of e-readers and the lower prices of online retailers are making it more difficult to tap into that market. The owners expressed hope that when the next bookstore rolls around, readers will throw their weight behind it.
At this point, most book lovers can relate to the closing of RiverRead. Across the country, both large corporate bookstores and smaller shops have been forced to close. This is sad for a number of reasons for book lovers. Though book buying is always going to be available via online venues, physical bookstores fill a certain niche in communities. RiverRead reminds us all just how important bookstores can be to the communities and customers who love them.
Bookstores can serve as places where communities get together, or simply be a place for people to hang out. I can personally attest to this as someone who spent a good deal of their childhood in bookstores. Even though I have a Kindle and often buy e-books off of Amazon, I can still appreciate a bookstore. The out pour from the community over the closing of RiverRead shows just how important the establishment was to the people living there.
This is likely going to continue to bother book lovers everywhere. Buying online or picking up an e-reader is very convenient, but at the same time, old school brick and mortar bookstores need our support. It may hurt your wallet a little more, but if you truly value bookstores, it might not hurt to pick up a physical copy of a book from your local shop here and there.
Hopefully, the owners of RiverRead Books are right and there remains a big market of readers who love physically buying books. If not, we could see a permanent downturn in the amount of bookstores dotting the nation.
YouTube Channel: What’s Goin’ On Binghamton?
Featured image via Pipe Dream
h/t Press Connect