Bookstores are better. Book lovers everywhere know that. No matter how much online retailers try to be all things to all people, when it comes to getting up close and personal with their customers, no one does it better than an independent bookseller. And all of that is no secret. It’s well known that independent book retailers are a passionate, knowledgeable crowd who go the distance for their customers. And you can know all of that. But when you see it in action? It can still take your breath away. And a retail environment where Amazon is ever snapping at the heels of ye olde neighborhood book shoppe, traditional book retailers must either step up or get lost in the crowd. From The Guardian:
Battered over recent years by cut-throat competition from Amazon and the supermarkets, and by a huge rise in ebook sales, indie bookstores have had it tough. Now they’re fighting back, boosted by a surge in printed book sales – particularly children’s books – and innovative approaches to getting people through the door.
In the UK, indies are fighting back by going beyond what a bookstore might not normally have offered. Far beyond.
It’s children’s story hour at the Book Nook in Hove and the owner, Vanessa Lewis, is doing a reading of Julia Donaldson’s rhyming picture book The Detective Dog.
“Sniff, sniff, sniff!” cry a gaggle of excited kids, in unison.
The parents sip lattes in a cafe at the back of the shop, while Lewis, a former teacher, bellows theatrically. Tucked away on a quiet street in the south coast town, the Book Nook is indicative of a growing breed of what Lewis describes as “destination” bookshops. People go out of their way to come here. “You can’t just exist as a bookshop nowadays; you have to make it a place where people want to hang out,” she says.
You can read more about destination bookstores here.