Are books going away?

I regularly buy my books at Borders. I love to take my kids there and do often.  I'll go through the magazine rack first to see if there is a new Mac magazine out that I haven't seen, and then go through the photo and Photoshop sections to see if there's anything there that tickles my fancy.

While I'm doing that, the kids have scattered throughout the store.  Our four-year-old daughter heads to the kid books.  The twins head to their own section of the store.  Our boys head to various sections, and my daughter Chandler heads to anything with the words Twilight on it.  (BTW Chan, there is a new book for about $15 that Haley wanted to get you the other night.) Kari is big into reading as well but is more practical about books, she gets a lot of them from the library.

I've tried books on tape.  I actually have a Bob Greene book I need to listen to, but I'm an active reader.  When I read a book, I love to underscore important sections.  I take notes.  And then if I pick up one of the Bourne books, I just sit with it for hours. 

I have Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6 in iTunes, but I think I've only been half way through it, (if that far.)  I don't have a lot of time to get into listening to a book.  Driving is a good time for me to just have quiet, particularly on my commute to and from work.

But the question I have to ask, not having yet bought or tried a Kindle, is "is the book industry about to go?" 

A friend of mine recently asked me, "Who reads books anymore?"  For one, I do. But his point was that since everything is going electronic, so it seems that the book industry is petering. 

For me I don't want that to happen for reasons expressed above.  But I have to wonder what's happening.  I get coupon offers from the rewards program from Borders all the time.  Right now I'm looking at one for 40 percent off any one item.  Forty-percent.  Is this something of a lost leader?  A trick to get you into the store, particularly me, a dad with seven kids who won't come in and be able to buy a book just for myself, or is this a deal so that they can at least claim 10-15 percent profit on a book?

I open to other points on this.  Anyone?




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