Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bookstores of the Future?

This passage in a NY Times article stood out:
“The shift from the physical to the digital book can pick up some of the
economic slack, but it can’t pick up the loss that is created when you
don’t have the customers browsing the displays,” said Laurence J.
Kirshbaum, a literary agent. “We need people going into stores and
seeing a book they didn’t know existed and buying it.”

As a customer, I don't see any need for that whatsoever.  As a method of discovery browsing is a terrible waste of time compared with shopping on the web.  If you like thumbing lots of books just because you can, libraries are superior. 

If I were a literary agent this is the question I'd try to answer, "How can I better connect my author with readers, both current and potential?"  If the answer involves bookstores you are probably barking up the wrong tree.

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