The future?

Below is taken verbatim from American self-help person Seth Godin's blog, thought it had resonance with various discussions that have been going on in this wee corner of blogdom. Or is it just stating the bleedin' obvious? We've got one of these places nearby, but it's run by two very surly ladies who seem to resent their clientele openly. They dare you with their eyes not to buy their books.

Books you don't need in a place you can't find

David points us to the Montague Bookmill. This is the bookstore of the future, because it's not a business trying to maximize growth and ROI. No, it's a place, an attitude, an approach to an afternoon. They don't sell every book, they don't even pretend to.

Just as vinyl records persist, an object of joy for some listeners and a profitable cottage business for some sellers, bookstores are going to become like gift stores. The goal isn't a commodity transaction with maximum selection at minimum price, the goal is an experience worth seeking out and paying for.

We're going to see more and more of these newly archaic industries turn into lifestyle businesses, which is what they used to be before Wall Street showed up.


Gaw said...

I don't think this is a business model that goes beyond profit. I think it will be perhaps the only one capable of producing profit.

The only selling point shops have over above websites is the physical experience of the visit so it's here they'll need to excel. Book shopping will have to become much more of an event. It may be the revenues to pay the rent and leave something over come from sales of coffee and cake - or even beer and chips - as much as books.

worm said...

yep, I'm seeing the future more as a restaurant/bar/cafe that happens to have lots of nice books as a value-added attraction for its customers. The books would probably only account for a negligible percentage of overall takings, the main bulk of the money coming from food+drink sales and author talks/ 'mini lit festivals'

Anonymous said...

If you're looking for a good alternative internet marketplace for buying and selling vinyl records or books try GEMM has been around since 1994. It's traditionally been a music marketplace but we're expanding to books and videos.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Hmm, nice, but while this business features many of the places where you'd enjoy reading a book - armchair, alcove bar... - it doesn't feature the most important one, the toilet. If I was starting such a venture I'd have the place full of toilets, pull-chain, lever-action, button-flush, the whole range.

Gaw said...

Good lord, I think Gadjo has cracked it - the business model that will save the bookshop (the bogshop?). Who could resist browsing such a place?

worm said...

eureka!!! well done Gadjo!! What man could resist such an emporium? The promise of a leisurely read on the throne would be a massive draw. There could be a barber shop too.

Memo to self: Must remember to first install serious air-con, and storm drains.