Monday, March 30, 2015

Your Dream Bookstore

I was reading about Jeff Kinney's new bookstore recently and it made me think I have to go there and then it made me think about all of the things I would want in my dream bookstore. Which, to be honest, aren't too far removed from what are going to be in Jeff Kinney's bookstore.

A coffee bar of course, but a real coffee place with lots of comfortable, I'm going to hang here all day seating.

A bar. Because I would love to have a glass of wine sometimes and, let's admit it, as the store owner drunk shoppers could really help the bottom line.

An active place for kids. I mean really cool, book related, fantasy, place to play and explore and learn.

A great big comfy place for events. Not just book signings, but full on events. Workshops for writers, workshop space for authors to teach people crafts, finances, cooking demonstrations, etc.

Knowledgeable and friendly staff. People who love books and want others to love them as much as they do.

Lots of recommendations and not just spaces bought by publishers, but lots of sections that really give readers ideas for new books to explore.

Shopper involvement. Recommendations from some of the most avid readers in the community, not just store staff.

I would love bookstores to become old fashioned community centers where readers come to buy books, to hang out, to meet with friends and to just be.

What about you? In a fantasy world where would you love to shop or, even better, what are some of your favorite bookstores?

--jhf

6 comments:

The Other Stephen King said...

I've blogged, myself, about bookstores and how they can either be just a place where you can purchase books--similar to Amazon but you have to get dressed and find a parking space--or more. There was a bookstore when I arrived in Anchorage called Title Wave, and they were in a three-story old house with one of those elevators you have to pull the grates up to operate. Old easy chairs were spread around, and a small cup of coffee or of hot tea was free as long as you were there. Easily $200 of my income went into their pockets every month.

Then, they moved. They found a larger space in a strip mall, and moved in with a large coffee house that charged $5 a cup. Then they posted signs prohibiting you from taking those $5 cups of coffee out to where the precious books were housed. It wasn't long before I started calling them the WalMart of used books, and I found other places to spend my money.

Kate Douglas said...

I don't ask for much--just a bookstore where I can go in looking for one of my favorite romance authors and not have a salesperson look down their nose and say, "We don't carry THOSE books here." That's not asking much, is it?

Except, in way too many bookstores, it pretty much is...

(I stopped in to drop off an ARC at a local bookstore and the owner told me not to leave it, that she'd just throw it in the trash. I feel like I should be wearing a scarlet A for author...)

Elissa M said...

My dream bookstore is one no more than 30 miles from my house. Currently the closest store is more than 100 miles away. Unless, of course, you count Wal-Mart or the grocery store, both of which are in the 30 mile range. I don't.

I want a real store with lots of books and knowledgeable staff who don't turn their noses up at ANY genre. (I can't believe you had to deal with that, Kate!)

They don't have to carry everything, but they should be more than happy to order titles and adjust their inventories to appeal to loyal customers. The very best bookstore would send notices out to customers on their mailing list, announcing upcoming new releases and events at the store.

Cozy reading nooks, a kids' corner, coffee shop, or bar would be fine, but I'd be super happy if I could just go buy books in person without having to plan a special all-day trip to do so.

DLM said...

I'm on the wrong coast, but Orca Books in Olympia Washington (http://www.orcabooks.com/) is perhaps my ultimate favorite. Even just the light and color there are wonderful, but they also consign and trade. Last time I was out there to visit family, we brought in a grocery bag or two of books and got $28, which of course was promptly spent right on the spot. Their selection is murder when you know you'll have to pack or ship, but I love going there anyway. Hoping to get back there this summer!

AJ Blythe said...

Jessica, you've pretty much summed up my perfect bookstore.

I was thrilled to recently find a new bookstore had opened at my local shopping centre. Considering how nearly all the independant local bookstores have closed down I feel very lucky having it so close!

Her Grace, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Your dream book store sounds very much like our libraries here in Western Australia--coffee places, comfy reading spots, rooms for events, etc. Only difference is at your bookstore, you can buy and take home forever.

One thing you could add is an info scanner: scan the barcode of a book and it can take you to an info page with reviews, also by this author, more info, "If you like this, you may also like..." etc. Our OPACs are like that.