The Need for Church Bookstores

As someone relatively familiar with the publishing industry, having just published my twentieth book, I read Philip Yancey’s recent article in Books and Culture with great interest. Titled “Farewell to the Golden Age,” it is an informed and insightful analysis of the end of publishing as we have known it.

Beyond just analyzing the rise of e-books and self-publishing and the demise of bookstores and back catalogs, Yancey explores what has been lost. Here are a few of his points, along with some of my own:
 
1.        No longer can you walk into a bookstore and browse through multiple titles you didn’t know existed. Instead, if a particular book is of interest, you order it through Amazon without any awareness of either better titles on the subject, other titles on the subject, or just other books in general that would serve your life.
 
2.        Authors are published and promoted not on the basis of writing skill or excellent content, but whether they front a large enough organization to buy large quantities of the title, have a marketing arm of their own, or the social media presence of the author is substantial. “Forget sample chapters; tell us how many followers you have on Twitter.”
 
3.        What bookstores still exist are driven, by necessity, to sell what sells. Good and important books that have stood the test of time and need to be introduced to new readers (and new Christians) are not available – and thus unknown – because stores don’t have the ability to keep large catalogs of books. They have to stock the latest bestsellers, whether of high quality or not, and not much more.
Click here to continue reading this post and to view the blog archive.

Daily Headline News

Survey: Most Americans say U.S. should shelter, not rush to deport, child migrants

Most Americans say the waves of children crossing into the United States from Central America are refugees fleeing danger at home. (Grossman, Religion News)

more...

'I, Origins' runs gamut of science, faith and destiny

The new thriller 'I, Origins' covers the gamut of science, faith and destiny as a pair of scientists break new ground they didn't even think was possible after discovering a new connection that lies within the eyes. (Fox News)

more...

Moms winning the Common Core war

The millions have proved no match for the moms. Supporters of the Common Core academic standards have spent big this past year to persuade wavering state legislators to stick with the new guidelines for math and language arts instruction. (Simon, Politico)

more...

Hate Crime Maps Reveal the Most Prejudiced Places in America

Hate crimes are still far too common in The United States today. Just look at a couple of recent incidents. Earlier this month, a man in Los Angeles assaulted a Muslim woman and tore off her hijab. (Walker, Mic)

more...

The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated

The ChurchandCulture.org Team is excited to announce the official release of James Emery White's book The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated.
 
This book could not be coming at a better time, as the "nones" - the fastest-growing religious group of our day - are certainly on the rise. Currently one in five Americans identify themselves as having no religious affiliation. Dr. White's book explores exactly who the "nones" are, what caused this dramatic shift in today's culture, and most importantly how churches can reach these people.
 
Ed Setzer, president of LifeWay Research had this to say about the book:
 
In an era of increasing complexity and religious apathy, James Emery White has written a book that is helpful, informative, challenging, and timely. Those who care about communicating the gospel in this complex culture and think the church must regroup and re-engage should read "The Rise of the Nones."
 
Happy reading!
Click here to see this product and more.