While bookstores are failing, libraries are thriving

Bookstores in the United States have been on the decline in recent years, and many are chalking it up to a tough economy and surge of library patrons. With the convenience of e-books on the rise and the draw of free book rentals via local libraries, bookstores can’t keep up in modern American culture.

The Borders Group, founders of the popular national bookstore chain Borders, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and was forced to close all their stores in 2011.

Barnes & Noble, another national bookstore chain, is closing about 20 stores yearly for the next 10 years, and the company has closed nearly 150 stores since 2003. The head honchos at B&N could be repositioning their stores to focus its market share, as the company has been opening stores every year since 2003, as well. However, no stores opened in 2012.

Perhaps the economy is one reason bookstore sales declined – purchasing hard copies of books takes up valuable shelf space and many are being forced to downsize their places of residence.

But libraries afford the valuable loan aspect of book reading. In this digital age, some people still want to hold physical books, not tablets, but that doesn’t mean people actually want to buy a print version. Paper versions that only occupy a house for a week, though, are much more likely to be taken home and thus libraries continue to survive in an increasingly online world.

Local library systems are categorically thriving in the U.S. and according to CMSWire, 53 percent of Americans surveyed visited their neighborhood library last year.

The convenience of reading online is another likely reason for bookstores’ decline in print sales. The prices for e-books are about one-half to two-thirds the cost of the paper versions, and are much more easily obtained. And with a quick download, e-books are ready to read on a tablet, all without leaving the couch.

More and more libraries are offering patrons the ability to check-out electronic versions of their books, which means patrons no longer have to haul heavy books to and from their homes. This proves incredibly useful for city dwellers dependent on public transportation. And with virtual operating hours, patrons can now check out e-books at all hours of the day.

All alone come Saturday night? Download the most popular e-book (and print) of last year, Fifty Shades of Grey, from your local library. It could keep you coming back for more.

Comments

Polititainment

Secret Service once threatened Mr. Met's life

Mr. Met sure has a lot of fans in New York. But the larger-than-life mascot definitely doesn't have one in the Secret Service, who threatened to shoot and kill him if he approached President Bill Clinton, according to a firsthand account.

Jill Biden on Joe: "I fell in love with the boys first"

Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden didn't marry Vice President Joe Biden for his sense of humor -- instead, she "fell in love" with his two sons first.

Joe Biden's first Instagram photo

Ladies and gentlemen of this great nation, rejoice! Vice President Joe Biden has joined Instagram -- and his first post is everything you ever dreamed it would be.

Celebrate Tax Day with this ditty

What better way to celebrate curse Tax Day than with a little toe-tapping, finger-snapping ditty that perfectly describes how we all feel about the Internal Revenue Service?

Joy Behar roasts Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) may need some ice for a few burns he sustained from former "The View" host Joy Behar, as the comedian delivered an awkward roast of the 2016 presidential hopeful.

White House

Jay Carney: “Never been a more transparent administration”

Despite consistent objections by journalists that the White House overly restricts press access, Press Secretary Jay Carney believes that there has "never been a more transparent administration."

Jay Carney: Toughest interview for Obama in 2012 was with Jon Stewart

Give comedian Jon Stewart a gold star sticker. The host of The Daily Show was President Barack Obama's toughest interviewer during the 2012 election cycle, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday.

The most powerful selfie in the world

Joe Biden — he's just like you, and he takes selfies, too.

Obama: Republicans a threat to the right to vote

President Barack Obama slammed Republicans on Friday for supporting voter identification law and labeled the GOP as a threat to the right to vote.

Republicans renew fight against Obamacare as Sebelius resigns

FOX NEWS -- Republicans responded to news of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' resignation from the Obama administration on Thursday with fresh calls to repeal the president's health care law.

Read more at FOX News.

Congress

Rep Black: GOP budget makes a path to a bright future

Our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt and out of control Washington spending has no end in sight. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that on our current trajectory we will return to $1 trillion annual budget deficits by the year 2022.

Cruz: Impeach Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pulled no punches when criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, as he called on Congress to impeach the Department of Justice head.

Pelosi: GOP not acting on immigration because of race

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the race card when speaking about Republicans' inaction in passing comprehensive immigration reform and said "race has something to do" with the GOP not bringing such legislation to the House floor.

House passes Ryan's budget plan

The House on Thursday passed a 10-year Republican spending plan drafted by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Read more at The Washington Examiner.

Harry Reid's Koch-fueled meltdown

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been in a Koch-fueled rage, seizing moments left and right (mostly from the left) to bash Charles and David Koch.