Let me ask you for your opinion here: do you think that the computer book sections at your local book store are shrinking?
Five years ago, the local Barnes and Noble in Sioux Falls had a majestic computer book section. I don’t know the official names for these things, but it was at least two rows, filled on either side — four or five shelves long.
Then things started shrinking. A whole row-side disappeared one day, replaced by science books. Then a year or so later, another row side vanished, replaced by philosophy books. Today, the computer book section at my Barnes and Noble is half the size it was five years ago — one row-side, perhaps four vertical units long, and maybe three on the other side.
This weekend, I’ve been in Kansas City for a soccer tournament. The KC metro area is almost two million people, comprised of about 50 cities. Compare this to the Sioux Falls metro of just over 200,000 people.
I’ve been in two Barnes and Nobles here. Both were at least double the size of the Sioux Falls store. One was an urban-style store in The Plaza comprised of four stories — more vertical than horizontal. Both impressive.
Total computer book shelves in either of them: four. Seriously — one side of a small row in each case.
Why is this?