Books on the landscape

One of the reasons we need to fight for our bricks and mortars stores as part of the bookselling space is to insure that books remain visible. Bookstores are the very best advertisement for books. Seeing others shopping in bookstores, carrying bags from those stores, driving by the stores, meeting friends at the stores, mentioning the book store in conversation, all these are indicators that raise the value of the book and of reading.
If we don’t see bookstores we absorb that they have little value and that reading has little value.
Most industries get this- it’s just true. This is why it makes sense to put your brand into locations with enormous traffic even when the direct returns from some of these locations doesn’t allow for profitability. Seeing makes it real. People covet what they see every day.
If we continue to drive book sales to the internet and off the street we are making books invisible.
One thing has to change. Stop allowing for huge discounts in invisible places.
People want to shop in book stores, they want to browse, they want a bookstore in their neighborhood and community but when so many of the books they really want are so much less expensive on line, they buy them there.
Let’s say you work at Random House- walk out of your office building at the end of the day- look ahead to the east, turn left and look north, turn to the right and look south, and ask yourself how far you would have to walk to find a store that sells what you’ve been working on all day.
Make the retail space profitable and you’ll see books and bookstores everywhere. It’s that simple.

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