Many of us who love books and those who make a living from the printing and sale of books have our heads spinning with the ways in which technology is impacting the publishing world. One of the negative impacts is the decline of brick and mortar bookstores.
My local Barnes and Noble seems to be doing well so far, but our local Borders is slowly withering away. While I do not frequent any indie bookstores (none conveniently located), they are struggling too.
There has been much discussion about the terrible toll these changes have taken on bookstores and what change is still to come.
But there is one other aspect of this that I haven't heard mentioned. It is getting harder and harder for book-minded people to find quiet places to get together and talk. I have a local writers group that meets at Barnes & Noble in the cafe. It's not ideal because the cafe grows more and more crowded each time I go. The tables are little bitty round ones that are not conducive to people setting down their books. But at least it's quiet.
Restaurants are out of the question as an option for writers to gather together. Each restaurant is exceedingly noisy and very, very few have separate meeting rooms.
You'd think the library would be an option but no, the library keeps cutting back its hours. My local library has hours that are only convenient to the unemployed and those who work second or third shift.
Granted, not having a place to gather certainly isn't in the same realm of hardship as store owners and employees being displaced, but it is something to consider. And it is a new niche that some brave entrepreneur can take hold of to consider. Maybe it's time to consider an era of QUIET restaurants or cafes for a change.
It seems like a small thing, but one that would be greatly appreciated. Peace and quiet is highly underrated and unappreciated.