When now-defunct bookstore giant Borders Group filed for bankruptcy in 2011, many experts declared it the end of an era. Surely, they argued, if this long-successful bookstore boasting over one thousand locations could not survive in the age of Amazon, E-readers, and easy internet access, no bookstore could.
Over the course of the past 5 years, those predictions have fallen flat. To be sure, the industry has changed, and bookstores must remain creative in order to stay competitive. But to count bookstores out would be a mistake–and, in fact, in the absence of one of the largest chain bookstores, local shops now have a special space in which to flourish.
Here are a few more reasons why so many small bookshops have experienced success even in the post-Borders world:
- Bookstores offer an experience. Ordering the book you want to read online is incredibly quick and easy–but it’s also boring. For many people, convenience comes second to the enjoyment of browsing the aisles of a book store, being exposed to new options, and, finally, making a purchase or two.
- Human curation forms connection. Another important part of the experience of shopping at a bookstore is taking advantage of a specially curated collection. The internet may offer a virtually endless selection of options, but bookstores narrow down this overwhelming selection and provide a specially chosen set of materials. A knowledgeable staff can make this experience even better.
- Bookstores have diversified their offerings. From CDs and vinyl, to coffee and tea, to movies, posters, school supplies and more: book stores are benefitting from expanding their offerings.
- Local stores foster community. Poetry readings, open mic nights, community classes, and other special events are great ways to bring out potential customers and make book stores a cornerstone of their local communities.
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