Another Print Book v.s. eBook Shocker — and eBookstores in Airports

A year ago I’d talked at length to a book buyer for three bookstores in the Detroit Airport. He was actually very excited and gave me much promise particularly since he loved my genre (historical fiction). But because in my excitement I had no contact information except his name, I waited for my next flight out of Detroit this past weekend in order to drop off one of my books for him to preview. To my shock, the bookstore was gone. I asked one of the workers across the hallway what had happened. She informed me that the two bookstores in that terminal had changed over to sports stores last spring or summer. The Wall Street Journal was the only store now carrying books, and that was only if the author was on the best seller list. This kind clerk actually called the buyer from a year ago, who said he remembered me, apologized, and regretfully told me that books don’t sell. I thanked him, signed the copy of my book, and gave it away to the helpful clerk who apparently does read books, and was very excited about her gift.

I then went to the gate area to await the arrival of my plane, brooding on the sad state of economy where bookstores no longer existed. I felt like I was cast into some bookless utopian society I’d read about as a youth. When I pulled out of my depression, I looked around at my fellow waiting passengers. Out of about two hundred seated people, six slept, three read books or a magazine, and everyone else was on an electronic device. Everyone. Else.

So how are we to adapt to this shocking realization? (Granted, people were playing eGames as well as reading, but some people were reading!)

I was thinking there ought to be eBookstores in airports with QR tags along a wall, which could easily be both categorized by age and genre as well as rotated. The eBookstore would then get part of the profits for selling the books. All it would take is a scan from an electronic device and a “clerk” who would change the tags every week or every other week.

BRILLIANT, SANDY! SIMPLY BRILLIANT!

And finny-dib-dibs on the idea! I figure that for coming up with this sensational original idea, I would have my book covers and QR tags displayed in airports on a rotating basis, or maybe a 0.01% for every book sold this way.

Raise your eHand if you think this is also a brilliant idea.

(BTW, on my trip I read from both print books and ebooks. And on another-yet-similar note, about twenty-five years ago I came up with the idea of hand-held computers. At least I wrote about them in my novel. Seriously. Wouldn’t that be cool? Oh. Right. People have already invented that now. Sigh.)