Growing up in Chicago, Marshall Fields, with its forest green shopping bags, giant corner clocks, and festive window displays during Christmas, was as iconic to the city as deep-dish pizza. In 2005, Macy’s purchased the department store, to the chagrin of many Chicagoans. The State Street store became a Macy’s and many people threatened boycotting the store out of stubbornness. But with time, Marshal Field’s became a cherished piece of history and Macy’s gained back the good graces of the people of Chicago.
The question of e-books versus print has been a hot topic for the past few years and many believed that print books would go the way of Marshall Fields and ebooks would reign supreme. And with Borders Group going out of business in 2011, that seemed more possible than ever. Like shopping at Macy’s, many of my avid reader friends claimed that buying e-books was like moving to the dark side and that they would never succumb to it. I must admit I was tempted. You cannot dispute the convenient nature of a Kindle or a Nook. You can purchase whatever book you want and get it instantly, that is a seriously awesome thing for a book nerd. However, even as a kindle owner, I can’t deny the love I have for browsing through bookstores and I still do buy print books all the time. Although, I also still buy CDs and records so you can take that with a grain of salt. But I can’t help it, and I think that is a common theme among book lovers. In September, The New York Times reported that, “E-book sales fell by 10 percent in the first five months of this year, according to the
Association of American Publishers, which collects data from nearly 1,200 publishers. Digital books accounted last year for around 20 percent of the market, roughly the same as they did a few years ago.” They also reported that, “the portion of people who read books primarily on e-readers fell to 32 percent in the first quarter of 2015, from 50 percent in 2012, a Nielsen survey showed.” It seems as though many people feel the same way I do and maybe e-books won’t destroy print after all. At least not right now.
Technology is always changing and I’m sure this will be a constant debate for years to come.