Sunday, January 20, 2008

How Long do Book Stores Have ?

I don't go to book stores much and that's mostly because I realize the economics of ordering online save me money. That does not mean I don't like book stores. I love the fact that they have cozy seats and a in-store coffee-shops. Everyone in my family loves book stores and once inside we choose our sections and settle down. Harry Potter book release nights have been memorable. of course there has never been a time when we didn't leave without buying anything.

After setting this stage let me tell you of my time in the Border's book store in Germantown Maryland today. The reason I was there was that my daughter had got a gift card from our friends and these can be used only in Borders and Walden Book stores. I tool the time to search for Social Media books. I was thrilled to see Seth Godin's Meat Ball Sundae (aff)  in the


Section - noteworthy hard covers. I have the book but I was thrilled to see it there.

In the new books IMAGE_175section I saw one that caught my interest and that's the book that I flipped through at the in store Seattle's Best coffee shop. Sudhir Venkatesh's "Gang Leader for a Day " . Sudhir is a professor at the Columbia University and early in his career went to survey people in the not so safe areas of Chicago. I plan to get the book from the library and read it.

The other book that interested me was a Book on StarBucks  called 'its not about the Coffee"IMAGE_176 . StarBucks and its own language has been a topic of interest and I have a blog post about " What do you order at StarBucks".

I bought the New York Times World Almanac 2008 - Since childhood I loved trivia and this almanac is a great book for facts. I hope my daughter reads it too. I will soon hopefully be tweeting the pearls of knowledge that I learn from this book.

During this visit I also realized that it is easier to take pictures than take notes. I recently discovered a way to make the photos into a PDF - the free website that converts photos to PDF. Using Qipit you could take pictures of whiteboard notes and convert them to pdf docs and send it to the team.

Here are the two pictures of the book "Three Cups of Rice" And then I wanted to blog about the sentence in the back cover.


I used Qipit to make the back over into a PDF. Here is a link to the document. The sentence I wanted to highlight is "We drink 3 cups of tea to do business, The first you are a stranger, the second you become a friend, and the third you join our family and for our family we are prepared to do anything- even die" -Village Chief in the Karakoram Mountains in Pakistan.

i could very well translate that and substitute the tea for beer for the social media and the last sentence would end with " We are prepared to do anything even blog and give you a link" LOL.

On the whole it was a nice trip to Borders. I also picked up Thank you Power - Deborah Norwell which is a very interesting book. I hope book stores will find a way to stay in business and provide some relief from the other wise hyper connected world.


Linda Sherman said...

I certainly hope bookstores survive too. I think all of us who stop in to browse always end up buying something. Book stores ofen Organize book readings from authors which even with low turn-out are inexpensive for the store and a nice service to the community. Thanks for sharing.

Patrysha said...

Add another to the "hoping bookstores survive" list. While I don't buy many books, except for those that are written by people I know and reference books that I'll refer to time and again, I love bookstores. I just can't afford to shop there most of the time simply because I read too fast for a book (especially a hardcover) to be a good investment, unless it's second-hand. I occasionally break that rule as was the case with the latest Harry Potter (which I read in two nights, while my eldest son took three.)

Unknown said...

Thanks for this article, Shashi. I also like book stores. They provide something that online services do not. I like the impromptu "meeting" with new & unexpected books. For me, bookstores are like village or town centers (e.g., meeting people). On the other hand, I am not fond of libraries. I realize they are very important in our community (I live across the street from one). But, many of them look so antiquated and certainly do not have the fresh look & feel of bookstores. This does not mean that I do not like used bookstores (some of them, especially in NYC, look fresh).

Unknown said...

Fascinating post! I loved it. I wonder how long bookstores will be around though? I haven't been to any since November and it's mainly because I just bought a 14$ book for 2.75$ +3.00 for shipping off of ebay. I do miss the atmosphere of a bookstore though, but it seems it's not worth the cost anymore.

Warren said...

Sadly, bookstores seem to be going the way of the Hardware store and the Butcher shop. And it's such a shame as they provide such a better experience than an online store: author book readings, great browsing, special themed events. Hopefully, they will figure out a business model that works. Your blog post reminded of an article I read this morning on Destination Bookstores,

And great tip on the Qipit tool.

Shawn said...

My wife works for another major chain bookstore (not Borders) and based on some of the things she's been saying lately, it seems that the days of these kinds of bookstores are indeed numbered. But, who knows? Maybe she's wrong.