Saturday, July 25, 2009


In spite of all the talk of physical bookstores being competed out of existence in the online age, there will, for the foreseeable future, be a need for a local physical location providing physical information and media.

If you really think about it, there are still all lot of people still alive who grew up in a world of books rather than of computers. Some people find computers intimidating. Remember, in their youth they had it pounded into their heads that computers could be touched (or even seen directly) ONLY by very smart, well-educated, adult, white males who had a job that allowed it. Some people like the portiblity of a book -- readable (during daylight hours) even when the power is out. And some just like the look and feel of books.

And there are times when a you don't want to order something and wait for it.

And then there's the serendipity effect of a place filled with the kind of random browsing not available by keyword searches or by the paths that software recommendations steer you in.

But stores are not about what all the people want; they're about what's most profitable and what a substantial subset of customers like (or are willing to put up with).

Enter the public library. They have books, newspapers, magazines, music CDs, movies. You can go in and browse and come away with whatever you're in the mood for right now -- not when it comes in the mail a week later. In many places, a library is within walking distance. In many others, it's a short drive.

And library materials are free.

No comments:

Post a Comment