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The bookstore at the end of the universe

Frank takes a trip down memory lane reminiscing the days of the bookstore and what the future may hold.

By Frank Romano
Published: August 19, 2011


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Frank Romano has spent over 50 years in the printing and publishing industries. Many know him best as the editor of the International Paper Pocket Pal or from the hundreds of articles he has written for publications from North America and Europe to the Middle East to Asia and Australia. Romano lectures extensively, having addressed virtually every club, association, group, and professional organization at one time or another. He is one of the industry's foremost keynote speakers. He continues to teach courses at RIT and other universities and works with students on unique research projects.

Please offer your feedback to Frank. He can be reached at frank@whattheythink.com.



By Michael Jahn on Aug 19, 2011

Frank - when i read this;

"We are being forced to buy from online bookstores. The guilty pleasure of fingering books will be replaced with mousing books."

I immediately thought "well, that is how YOU feel because you grew up reading books."

My grand kids will probably complain when they are our age about how they miss the guilty pleasure of mousing through books.

I guess I look at the future differently than you.


By Gina Danner on Aug 19, 2011

I love books, ebooks, and audio books. I love the publishers because they filter and qualify content for me.

I have a friend who says, "everyone should write a book." I tend to disagree. Not everyone is capable of putting his thoughts on paper that draw in a reader. My biggest fear in the flattening of the literary market is that we will lose quality and the great thinkers will not be able to get their content to the masses because of the noise of too many publications.

When I find a publication I like I generally buy it as an audio first... then want to consume it so I get a print version and then find that it isn't unusal to also get the ebook so that I have it in a portable format and with me always.

It is truly a fascinating time. I do miss a good bookstore... to go in and for one book and walk out with 10... I don't do that on Amazon... I buy the one book, the air filter, the racquetball gloves, the socks and whatever else is in my shopping cart that day.


By Clifford Smith on Sep 02, 2011

You are right Frank. In our lifetime we may not see the ultimate demise of books and bookstores but our children certainly will. 30 years ago, before I went into the graphics field I owned a used bookstore. I loved that business and I miss it with every ounce of my being. As the economy has turned sour over the past couple of years I have investigated the plausibility of returning to the used book business. I feel I could do it, but only for the love of it, not the money.


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