E-Books: E-Cafes?

As E-books are becoming the future of literature, and Amazon continues to drive Barnes and Noble out of business, I wonder what product will come out to fill the need that book retailers provide.

I try not to embrace the sentimental side of keeping technology old, though I have a tendency to do so.  When Windows Vista was released I complained about it until a programming friend of mine said, “I don’t want my computer interface to stay the same for twenty years.”  The comment stuck with me and now I try to embrace rather than fear change.

So I will get a Kindle, or an Ipad, or whichever technology wins this race.

But the bookstores that are going out of business did provide another service that the E-books aren’t compatible with:  shopping.  The process of going to a bookstore, browsing for titles -often picking books that make us look smarter to leave a better impression-, and buying a coffee afterward, is not fulfilled by online shopping.

I believe this is a basic need of our society, and more coffee shops might spring up throughout the town.  If E-books are the wave of the future, maybe Starbucks with digital book kiosks will accompany the new technology.

If anything, putting more commerce online may reverse the seventies trend of community centers shifting from downtown to the mall.



About Ed Battistella

Edwin Battistella’s latest book Dangerous Crooked Scoundrels was released by Oxford University Press in March of 2020.
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