The Survival of Bookstores

Amazon has pretty much destroyed the world of bookstores.  Their price is always superior.  And they get you to buy more so you can have free shipping to your door.  I am sure that many go to bookstores to browse and hang around only to go home and use Amazon to order the book they saw and wanted.  

Several days ago, I tweeted about the future of bookstores.  I suggested that they need to accept what they have become, which is pleasant places to hang out.  People like to be in a Barnes & Noble even if they don't want to buy their books there.  My idea was that they should charge membership fees like health clubs.  If you want to hang out in Barnes & Noble and use free wi-fi amidst a beautiful collection of books, magazines, DVD's, etc., then pay some monthly fee for the privilege.  

After making the suggestion, I realized that Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million both do something like what I mentioned.  They have cards which qualify members for discounts on merchandise, food, and coffee.  The only problem is that it's not enough.  Instead, membership should be required to enter the store, just like at a Sam's Club.  Plenty of people would pay to become members of a very nice bookstore and the membership fees would be enough to allow the merchants to reduce their book prices to more competitive levels.  

Think about it, big bookstores.  As much as I love Amazon, I don't want you to go away.  

One thought on “The Survival of Bookstores

  1. Thats a really interesting idea, and I see where you’re coming from, but…
    The only book I remember my mom ever reading, was to me when I was about 5, it was peter cottontail. My dad also doesnt read, but he has two books to his credit.
    I however have about 500 books. Ive been reading and buying books since elementary school. They neither encouraged or discouraged my reading, but if they would have had to pay for me to go into a bookstore, they wouldve said no. And by now, there are no small bookstores near me to shop at.
    And I can see the rebuttal of libraries, which are good, and I use, but I liked sci fi fantasy and manga, and my local library was/is limited on the first two, and I dont think have any of the third.

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