With the digital age advancing and online book sales rising, book stores across the nation are closing. Will technology take over the hard copy world?Books4_Martinez_01292014

In late December Barnes and Noble in Old Pasadena closed. A hand full of PCC book lovers had no idea. Where are students getting their books now?

“The feel of turning a page and holding an actual book helps my mind absorb the knowledge,” said Michael Vargas, music. Students seem to be reaching to all sorts of outlets to have a hard copy book in their hand. Matthew Ellison, music, agreed.

“I feel like the library is the cheapest and most underutilized tool that we have,” Ellison said. “It’s just logical as many books as you like and there all free if you return them on time.”

Why are bookstores going out of business? Well, for the nationwide chains such as Borders and Barnes and Noble, the age of Amazon has arrived and a slow economy has devastated the ability of the bookstore to turn a profit.

“I love being able to reach in my pocket wherever I am and order what I want instead of having to hunt it down and wait in line,” Miggy Perez, undecided, said.

From A-Z, Amazon seems to cover it all and takes the stress out of shopping.

“The only downside is waiting,” Perez said.

Independent bookstores now seem to have some hope. Retailers are individualizing stores to fit their consumers interests.

“[Independent bookstores] have simply found ways to make the service and selection at a small stores more desirable, giving customers something that big-boxed stores and online retailers simply can’t provide,” The Open Education Database (OEDb) states on its website.

Vromans Book Store in Pasadena is an independent bookstore that has been servicing Pasadena for over a hundred years. How have they managed to stay in business all this time? “Novelty,” said Jade Hollingsworth, a supervisor at Vromans Book Store. “We are one of the few bookstores left that isn’t a chain. We have also been around for many, many years so people automatically think of us. Also, most stores that sell books don’t have a knowledgeable staff, which is a novelty in itself.”

With the hard copy world slowly running out of business, independent bookstores give us page turners some hope.

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