Monday, June 15, 2015

"When a bookstore closes an argument ends."

Jared asked me what I thought of this article:  

I guess I think it's inevitable.  Some bookstores aren't going to make it.

I do believe that a fully engaged and smart retailer can make a go of it, if they are hardworking and insightful and well-read and a good business person.

But I've always always said that any industry that only survives with the "exceptional" is not a fully functioning industry.  Not everyone can be smarter than the other guy.

Exceptions don't prove the rule.  They are exceptions.

The loss of bookstores in this article is as much about gentrification as it is about competition from other platforms.  And nothing can stop gentrification, nor should it.

I've felt for a long time that downtown Bend could use a full service bookstore.  I think Dudley's is trying, which is interesting, and good for them.  They've moved a little away from used books and more into new books.  I've found the same thing -- I believe that a nicely curated selection of new books works very well in a busy tourist zone.  Whereas used books, you're more dependent on what people bring in and they never seem to bring in the good books except in dribs and drabs.

I've put as many books as I can fit into my store.  Really, space is the only thing that's keeping me from bringing in more.  I decided on a diversified model, selling comics/graphic novels, games, toys, new and used books, and cards a long time ago, and it's working, so I have little incentive to change it now.

The downtown has grown busy around me, and I'll be damned if I'll move now that I'm finally getting the foot traffic I've always wanted.

So I guess I'll be happy with the sales in new books I get, and keep on truckin'


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