The Rebirth of Bookstores

You read it here first. I think the bookstore is really making a comeback. I have been feeling it for a while, but now I think the old book store concept has finally figured out a way to fit in to the digital age.

For example, the Shakespeare & Co., a bookstore company in New York, will be featuring an “Espresso Book Machine” in its new stores. The company said the new machine will be able to print paperbacks that are not in stock. It will also permit writers to self-publish their own work.

Now, that’s cool.

Shakespeare & Co. plans to open new bookstores in New York City this year. Eliot and I passed one of the new bookstores on the upper westside. It also features a cafe. I got so excited when I saw the sign “opening soon” because I immediately got flashbacks of all the hours I used to spend wandering the aisles in bookstores everywhere I went.

Books & Books, an independent bookstore chain in Miami, keeps adding branches and I have noticed many more people shopping in Barnes & Noble. Friends tell me new bookstores are popping up in Denver, Dallas, Boston and Columbus and are becoming gathering places for book clubs, meditation centers, lectures, art exhibits, knitting groups, and all kinds of cultural meetings.

I’m not sure what’s going on, but my guess is that more bookstores will appear on the scene with a new hook. Printed books will still dominate, but a special emphasis will be placed on digital products. You might see digital assistants dedicated to reading books, robots that help you with research, and smart glasses that feature bookstore navigation systems.

I really hope my bookstore theory comes true. It would be great to have a social meeting place again and give Amazon a little competition.

2 thoughts on “The Rebirth of Bookstores

  1. You are right! Independent bookstores are doing well now. The reason is the experience. Having a human who can give you direction to a book you may like. meeting an author, an event, etc are all things that cannot occur virtually or at least not in the same manner or feeling. What has changed is consumer expectations of transparent pricing, pre-purchase information, free and quick shipping, etc. Once these things are matched and offered then physical retail has plenty of charm for people.

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