Nick Sherry drew a lot of media coverage (and opprobrium from bookshop owners/representatives) this week for his suggestion that in five years time, the traditional book store as we know it will barely exist outside of major cities. By total coincidence (or as an example of my uncanny ability to tap into current stories even before they’ve happened), I interviewed Hamish Alcorn, the proprietor of Brisbane bookstore Archives Fine Books, on my weekly radio show at the start of this week.
You can listen to the interview by clicking on this link (apologies the sound quality isn’t so flash). The other person speaking in the first part of the interview is Peter Black, who I talk with each week on my show.
Archives Books has been around for about 30 years in Brisbane, and is probably not your archetypal bookstore – in fact I think it is fairly unique even across Australia. But it still provides a good insight into the challenges facing independent bookstores across the board.
We examine not just the future of bookstores, but also the possible future facing authors, how much of the current difficulties for bookstores are due to online purchasing or wider factors such as the cost of books or the difficulties facing the retail sector as a whole. Not to mention how bookstores themselves can best engage with the online world.