Discussion: Where Did the Paperbacks Go?
Kel Monday, March 10, 2014 discussion
I was browsing through my local mall-size Books-A-Million earlier this week to get a gift card for my friend's birthday, and I noticed their YA section had a distinct lack of paperbacks. The majority of titles appeared to be hardcovers. I've already said that I buy almost all my books used, and more and more I'm buying used hardcovers, but I still remember the days when I got all my books from Barnes & Noble and Borders. I skipped right past the hardcovers and straight to the paperbacks because I knew I could take home more books for my money.
I wonder whether the reason behind the dearth of paperbacks is because there aren't as many paperback printings/editions out there or because the cheapskates like me who look for paperbacks have likely gone over to e-books or discount shopping online. Maybe they're catering to that certain buyer who wants a pristine, brand new hardcover for the collection.
On the other hand, it may just be this store's policy based on its clientele's buying patterns, or just YA buyers in general. This BAM's children's, romance and sci-fi/fantasy sections had plenty of paperbacks. And it is a small store. I'm sure they have to be picky about what they stock.
What do you think? I know I find paperback editions online all the time, but are you seeing fewer brick and mortar stores stock YA paperbacks, or maybe just the smaller stores?