The imminent closure of Borders and the general state of bookstore was covered on last night’s The Daily Show. In the above video, John Hodgman was on and he offered some sage advice on how brick-and-mortar bookstores can actually compete.
For example, he suggests getting rid of the “old-fashioned” book shelves, replacing them with “beautiful, well-appointed downloading pods. Book lovers simply seal themselves inside, strip down to their underwear, pick up a cold slice of pizza and start downloading the great works of literature in between bouts of masturbation and YouTube,” he said. “It is all the fun and isolation of home, with the inconvenience of a 20-minute car ride.”
Mid-way through the segment, there was a brief back and forth which skewered authors:
“There are things that bookstores can do that the internet cannot.”
“Oh, you mean like shelter the homeless?”
“I’m talking about having author visit stores.”
“Ah, now we’re just splitting hairs.”
John also suggested hosting “in-store writings” by authors and that Borders be preserved as a historical site. Kids could come and see how people used to buy books in the 1990s.