News Feb 17, 2011 at 4:00 am

Talking About the Future of Books with Laid-Off Powell's Employees


People are more into the internet and phone toys than books.I believe reading any books after school years are done will be next to none.I also think thats a fucking bummer.
I think people will be reading more e-books in the future, but there will continue to be a market for old books and things that are hard to find. I like buying terrible novels from the 20-50s from the thrift store, because I like the idea that nobody else has read these books in decades, and they cost half the price of modern terrible novels. Also, I think as e-readers get more prevalent, the rules regarding copying and trading them will become more strict and complicated, where as many people can read a physical book as you want, as many times as you want, regardless of what software and technology is most up to date.
I absolutely love books, and I will never stop craving the sweet aroma of finely aged paper. And I'm a pretty regular customer at Powell's. But Powell's needs to come to terms with reality - eBooks are permanently part of the landscape now. They will never totally replace books, but they will never go away either.

Powell's needs to embrace that aspect of the market and capitalize on it. They should swet up a few small kiosks where people can browse eBooks on a computer, right there, and download it to their device. I'm sure Powell's can make a cut in the transaction. It would keep the foot traffic high; and if customers go to browse for a few eBooks, there's a good chance that they'll buy a few physical books as well.

This isn't about being a big, nasty corporation squeezing money from people. It's about remaining a healthy business that can employee people in our community, and continue to provide the amazing service that Portlanders know and love.
To the laid off Powell's workers, which one of the former downtown employees is a friend of mine, I sympathize with you...that shit sucks...been thru it myself. But you have to keep aware of the changing landscape that your employer is in.

My employer is in an independent, non-profit TV industry that is finding itself up against the ropes every few years because big media powers want us eradicated to make room for more brainrot programming on the bandwith. So i'm taking countermeasures by learning a new craft part time so when the day comes, I can have some back up. Unemployment is too high to be messing around, and with the thousands of new influx of people every month to the metro area coming in looking for work, good paying jobs are getting harder to find.

Good day and good luck.

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