Should Bookstores Charge You to Browse?

That's the suggestion of Victoria Barnsley OBE, the Chief Executive and Publisher of HarperCollins UK, in an interview on BBC Radio 4:

Barnsley predicted that the level of digital e-book sales would "level off and end up being more like 50/50 [physical books and e-books] for quite some time, if the physical bookshops survive". But she said the survival of the physical bookshop was "the big question". "Readers still do quite like physical books, the question is, will they be able to buy them, actually," she told Davis.

Citing a reported figure that only 35% of fiction in the UK is bought through a physical bookshop, Barnsley commented: "They are under enormous pressure," suggesting that asking customers to "pay for the privilege of browsing" was not an insane concept in the current environment.


Would you pay to browse at your local bookstore?

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Stores, which are having difficulty luring people in as it is, should make those people PAY for the privilege?

Who says media executives are out of touch with reality?
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There is 1 bookstore in the town in which i live and they do not offer WI-FI, much less have a place to sit. When i go into a bookstore (nearest store with WI-FI is 3 hours away) I am not there to surf the net.
I agree with some of the others, I love my library and sometimes it is nice to sit in one of the reading rooms and use the "free" Internet and enjoy piece and quiet. I feel very lucky to live in a community that takes pride in the library (there is only 1). There are comfy couches and chairs, fireplaces, great art, and a wonderfully knowledgeable staff.
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