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Thursday, July 6, 2017
How Many Bookstores Do We Need?
though at least 30% of all book sales come from e-books and millions of digital
books are read every single day in America, we still need bookstores. Not only
do they help complete a simple transaction of a consumer buying a book, they
help promote the world of books and give sustenance to the reading
process. Bookstores nurture readers and
help create a better world by selling more books – and by fitting the right
book to each person that wanders in. So
how many bookstores do we need?
part of me says you can never have enough bookstores and books should be sold
everywhere, not just at a formal bookstore.
But realistically, we can’t flood the country with bookstores unless
these stores can support themselves. There are many, many holes in the United
States landscape, where one would travel 30 minutes or more and still not hit a
bookstore. But they can always find a place to sell them a gun nearby, or junk
food, or a lottery ticket.
Jerry Seinfeld said: “A bookstore is one
of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.” He’s right – and we need more friendly
confines to help thinkers feel embraced.
town isn’t complete without a bookstore. Just as a town has a local government
with police and fire departments, and likely a post office, school, place of
worship, and some food joints, it should have a place where people can come
discover, buy, and read books.
really good bookstore helps serve the community and becomes a place of
community. It makes available a wide
array of books and doesn’t merely offer what’s popular, classic, or
commercially viable. It has an educated
and inspiring staff that helps find books for customers whether or not a
specific book was requested. Bookstores
not only satisfy our perceived needs; they help fill a desire that they create.
those who don’t know what to read, and for those open to discovery, the
bookstore is their salvation. Once in
the store they feel a sense of belonging and even optimism in knowing the
stacked shelves of books surrounding them can offer some amazing ideas, facts,
or fantasies of how one could live his life.
The bookstore opens our eyes, minds and souls to so many possibilities.
is not an argument of digital vs. paper, online vs. brick and mortar. No, it’s about how bookstores are unique
places that truly change lives. The
Internet or e-books won’t disappear, but we can’t let bookstores remain in the
background. We need more of them to
exist. Our lives and society depend on them more than we realize.
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