“Relationships first, sales second.”

Posted by @ 2:48 pm on September 22nd, 2011

To further the conversation, here are two things about “community” and bookstores that have influenced my thinking on the subject.

First, above, is video of a talk by the amazing Matthew Stadler. In it, he discusses the future of the brick and mortar bookstore. It’s the source of the title for this post.

The second is a short essay from my local alt-weekly, The Stranger. In it, Books Editor Paul Constant takes all the talk of community building and asks someone to go ahead and put up (or rent out) an actual building:

So here’s what we need: a fairly large bar, nothing fancy, not too expensive. Open almost all the time. Maybe a typewriter here or there for ambience. Ratty books on shelves. Some sort of an area that can easily become a stage. Chairs. Tables. No TV, no Wi-Fi. No nattering blogs or flickering videos to distract from the words you’re writing, speaking, or reading. A jukebox stuffed with Edith Frost, the Magnetic Fields, and the Pogues. That’s about it for the hardware.

Both are on the right track, I think.

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