This might be somewhat contradictory. I like owning things -- but I don't like collecting things.
I guess, by collecting, I'm thinking of idea of buying something because you think it might be "worth" something beyond the intrinsic value of the item. That, I believe, is a giant con game. 90% of 'collectibles' are crap, and the 10% that isn't crap is hard to find and hard to sell.
On the other hand, actually owning an item makes it yours.
There is an article in the Bulletin today: "We're paying less for music, but we're getting less, too," that asserts that making art free devalues the experience of art.
Good luck with that argument.
Anyway, I'm about to make a big book order, which flies in the face of current trends. Why?
Because I believe there are still people who want to "own" a book; and "owning" a digital version just isn't the same thing. In fact, I have to wonder if you "own" a digital version at all, or are just borrowing it.
So, which is more important? The experience of reading a book or owning a book? Well, obviously, I come down on the side of reading more than owning. Much like I think owning a "collectible" because it looks nice is more important than thinking it should be squirreled away in it's original packaging and untouched.
Still -- I like "owning" at least some of the books I read. I'll do the 90% rule again -- I probably can let go of 90% of the books I read, and keep the 10%.
So by that reasoning, there are going to be shops who can survive who sell the 10% of books, movies, and CD's that people want to own.
I've mentioned before -- because of my location in a busy downtown that has tourist business, I've repositioned my store to be more of a "gift" shop; with items that people don't see everywhere else, as intriguing as I can make them, and hopefully something they want to take home with them.
If I'm right about this -- there will be room for 10 or 20% as many venues as there were before the digital revolution started. This will probably take a few years to diminish into this lower level.
And if I'm right about this, the bigger mass market type stores won't survive at all selling music, books, and movies -- anything that can be done "free" on the internet. Ironically, it will be the little guys who combine a savvy selection of the physical, with a shopping experience, and can get people to pay the price for Ownership.
6 days ago