This may not come as much of a surprise, but big-box book-sellers may soon be totally extinct.

Barnes & Noble today announced that it will cave to the digital world. In an effort to remain profitable, B&N will close roughly a third of its brick and mortar stores over the next decade.

A company executive tells the Wall Street Journal that Barnes & Noble will likely have 450 to 500 stores 10 years from now. That's down from about 689 currently.

He goes on to say the chain intends to close about 20 stores a year between now and 2023. No word yet on which stores will be closing and when.

B&N is currently the largest traditional U.S. bookstore operator and likely the strongest remaining store of its kind. However, it's been facing tough competition from online retailers and discounters like Amazon.

Insiders say the company is focused on its Nook tablet and e-book business in an effort maintain growth.

So, what do you think? Does the pending demise of Barnes and Noble stores come as a surprise to you?

Do you think niche retailers like Barnes & Noble can survive in this digital world? Leave your thoughts below: