Friday, January 8, 2010

Just a passing thought...

Two times in a single week I found myself in a Christian retail bookstore that was closing down. The current economy and the rise in online sales is really taking a toll on this industry. Publishers who rely too much on the Christian retail bookstores will suffer, while those that get the more viral and online side of things could actually thrive. I am blessed that (our online store) is still in business, that is a miracle to say the least.

Surprisingly, in both stores I found one of my books on the shelf, marked down 60-80%. Now it is always a pleasant surprise to see your own book on a shelf of a store. But in this case, the fact that it is marked down up to 80% off and still not sold is troubling to say the least. Ouch.

Well, welcome to the new decade! We are all in for some big changes in the coming days. Buckle up.


Rick Meigs said...

Here in Portland, OR, Christian bookstores have all but disappeared. Most I've not missed because they mainly sold Christian trinkets and music, but few books. One though, Pilgrim, was a gem of a store full of new and used books. They are sorely missed.

Neil Cole said...

Our world is far more fragile than we care to admit. I wonder how quickly the society we now know could implode? We must be able and willing to adapt and thrive in a less secure future.

Rick, the thing I am missing most is the sale of Christian magazines. Where can you go to buy them when the retail Xtian book stores close? B&N and Borders do not carry them. I do not want to subscribe to all of them. I like to look through them to see what's going on, and buy the ones that have something interesting to say, but now I can't. I drove 20 miles to another bookstore to shop for a mag yesterday only to find that they only had last months!

Neil Cole said...

You can begin to see the domino effect at work here...retail bookstores close, publishers are in trouble, periodicals are in trouble, makers of useless plastic knick knacks go out of business. Well I guess its not all bad.

Neil Cole said...

To all those who support their families by making pressed plastic trinkets, please accept my apology. I shouldn't make light of the current hard times, even for the makers of praying hands and precious moments figurines.

grimtraveller said...

There isn't really an answer to this. There's a bookshop just round the corner from where I work that I first visited in 1988 in Wealdstone, north London. In those days it was called Scripture union then it changed to Wesley Owen and it's been there at least 22 years, probably alot more. I noticed a few weeks back that it's closing down and they're having a sale "with up to 50% off". I hope this doesn't come across as heartless, but c'est la vie. This current "economic downturn" has affected many people in many walks of life. I've had to take a 10% paycut in the last year but I'm grateful that I still have a job. In England and elsewhere many don't.
As followers of the Lord sometimes we'll be protected from certain hazards, sometimes not. As cliched as it may sound, the key is to make sure that our individual and collective relationship with the Lord remains vital and vibrant. Or becomes so.
I can't help feeling that sometimes the proliferation of books and magazines [and TV and media in general] in the christian world has been at the expense of real deep seated relationships and the weighing and testing that is vital in believers hearing God together. Not in pockets, but across the board.
I've been feeling in increasing measure a passing away of so much that which we've become so used to, so much of that which has defined modern christianity. I think there have been signs from God that, added together form a picture which, at the very least say "My people, re-order your priorities....."