Reclusive writers and readers

Two days ago I got an email from saying that they were shutting down their site. Borders bookstores have shut down for good. The market has changed. Readers often have a better in-home experience than they have in-store. Authors are available via their Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, or websites. It’s not cost-effective to tour out in public anymore. Blog tours now rule. Kids can meet an author over Skype. Nobody has to leave home if they don’t want to.

It’s almost a resurgence of the days when ¬†authors could be reclusive, pale artists hunched over their desks. Only now in addition to working on their manuscripts, they also have to maintain an online presence. But there’s no sun required, and being charming and gregarious is a matter of choosing the right words, something writers are already good at.

Readers can choose to be nearly as reclusive, getting their books delivered directly to their homes, or wirelessly on ereaders.

So as writers stick to their desks and readers consume from the couch, I have to wonder if this is a good time for books. The Daily Show did a report on the Borders closings and had some ideas for bringing both readers and authors back into bookstores. Don’t laugh. It might come to that.


8 thoughts on “Reclusive writers and readers

  1. Sara (Your No.1 fan) says:

    Hi Crystal, I hope you remeber me. I’m Sara. How are you? Are you ok? Anyways, I want just borrowed your Your Life but Better! book. That’s all, bye!

  2. Jennifer says:

    Hi Crystal, no offence Sara, I’m her Number 1 fan. BTW Crystal; I read all of ur books. =)

    Jenny (Jennifer)

  3. Mutterschwester says:

    I recently did a post about my local bookstore, Watchung Booksellers, and its YA graphic novel section. I LOVE browsing in bookstores, and I am an adamant buyer of books from brick&mortar shops. (Should I say shoppes since they are so old-fashioned?)

    RE: the clip, I remember when music stores had listening rooms, and now the bigger ones all have those headphones with pre-selected items to listen to. It removes the organic and aimless wandering around of choice, which is what Amazon also does with its “other buyers have purchased…” and “you might also like…” Sigh.

  4. Tracey says:

    I’m not sure I could live without a real bookstore near me that I could go to and walk around and smell the books and heft them and page through them a little. Being inside a bookstore is a very sensory experience, one that you can’t get through a computer, no matter how cool the gadget is. And while I still buy books for my Nook (I bought The Help two days ago), I usually browse in the bookstores and look at the books before I make the online purchase anyway. It is very rare that I will buy a book without first having looked at it in a brick & mortar store. … I mean shoppe.

    The “other buyers” thing has never enticed me to change or add to my purchase. I’ve usually already seen what I want before I click “buy.”

    And you have such a great bookstore in Montclair. I love Watchung Booksellers. If the bookstore experience was like that in more stores, I think there’d be less online buying.

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