The Booksellers Association in the UK released its latest membership figures for the year 2012 with the following results. In 2012, among BA membership:
- 73 bookshops closed
- 39 bookshops opened
- 1,028 independent bookshop members
- 3,580 bookshop members in total
Tim Godfray, CEO, The Booksellers Association, noted, “Closures are always painful and we were saddened to see many bookshops closing last year. The balance of risk in bookselling has changed for good and now sits disproportionately with the bookseller. We are committed to helping booksellers work closely with publishers to explore new business models to ensure that bookshops continue to have a lively presence on our high streets. Bookshops are important community and cultural hubs, which also provide an important educational resource for all.”
In the UK, libraries have been closing all over the country. Now we are losing our high street bookshops too. Soon the future of reading will be almost entirely online. Is this a good thing? Is it an opportunity for Indie and self publishers? Will we just look back nostalgically, or will we regret their demise? There are interesting times ahead.