So, I'm sure you've all heard that Borders has filed Chapter 11. To say the past few years have been tumultuous is an understatement. The industry is changing in a big way. There's anxiety among everyone in the industry. Sometimes if feels like we're walking into the Bookapolyse. Any day now I expect four horsemen (dressed like the firemen in Fahrenheit 451) to ride down the street and into bookstores where the buildings will crumble under the weight of their hooves.
So is publishing doomed? Will writers stop writing and readers stop reading? No. I don't think so. Things will change. The industry might have to reinvent itself, but that's true of all industries. We might need to develop new ways to produce and market books, but I believe there will always be those of us for whom there is no greater pleasure than curling up with a good book.
In fact, I think that in a few years that segment of the population will increase. Why do I say this? Look at the YA market. If you've walked into a bookstore any time in the past few years, you've seen it expand from a few shelves to several aisles. This means kids are reading. When kid readers grow up, what do they become? Adult readers. These same kids who are devouring YA books now will keep looking for great stories as they grow up. That means there will still be a market for books.
Think about it. How many of you were readers as a child? I know I was. I was such a book geek that I was actually disappointed when I didn't win the Biggest Bookworm award in high school. (Yes, I know, it's sad.)
We might be a small group when compared to say, movie goers, but I don't think you'll find a more dedicated group than readers and writers. After all, even if the Bookapolyse occurs and the industry implodes, will YOU stop reading? Will YOU stop writing? I don't think so. And that means one thing. Hope.
Yes, things might change. (Amend that-things will change.) But that's okay. We're a creative group. Surely we can figure out a way to embrace this change and even make things better than they have been.