An argument for bookstores.

July 22nd, 2011 by Brian Leave a reply »

Richard Nash, independent publisher at Red Lemonade, has an interesting article here about the need for bookstore workers, people who will help you sift through the massive amounts of entertainment being put out each year. He cites the success of Oprah’s book club not for her knowledge of books, but in the relationship her viewers have with her.

Now, librarians, I don’t think we can immediately summon the hordes of minions that Oprah has.

“Ladies and gentlemen, check under your chairs. You’ve all won A FREE BOOK (that is due in two weeks).” Everyone starts crying.

We can, though, create libraries that are more than just warehouses for paper. (Every time I hear that description of libraries, I get mad. If I wanted to hawk paper, I’d work for Dunder Mifflin.) We can establish welcoming learning communities where we are, as Nash words it, “matchmakers of the book ecosystem”.

The nice freedom versus bookstores that we have is that we’re not trying to push a certain title. A new release will catch a reader’s attention, but if we hook them up with an old one, that’s good, too. Our focus gets to rest primarily on people, not profit.


Leave a Reply