The Bookstore of the Future

I sat up in bed the other night* and said to Jacob, "I've got a great idea for my future bookstore!" Yes, I entertain fantasies about owning and working in bookstores. I also dream about being a librarian. (When I'm in a different mood I want to be an author, an editor, or a publicist.)

*I probably didn't actually sit up. It was probably more like this.
Perhaps you've noticed that lots of bookstores have closed in the last little while, due to a confluence of factors including economic downturn, the advance of ebooks, and so forth. I saw an article a while back about how libraries could begin selling books and I thought, why not turn that on its head?

So. The bookstore of the future! It sells the following:

  • new books 
  • used books 
  • print books 
  • digital books
  • and is also a lending library! 

The library part, in my proposed incarnation of this idea, would be less like a video store and more like online media streaming (think Netflix, Audible), in the sense that you pay a monthly fee and there are no late fees. It will be awesome!! And if you check out a book and you like it and you just want to keep it, then you can buy it and you never have to turn it in! Yay! Plus also our awesome bookstore will have a big room for author events and such.

Granted, I'm almost certainly not the first person to think of this idea. Do you know of a bookstore that does this? I'd love to hear about it. All of my entrepreneur friends, feel free to crib this idea -- it is the bookstore of the future! Besides, I can't use it quite yet. So, you guys go ahead and get on it and set the precedent for me, ok? ;)



  1. The HBLL will give me circulation privileges if I pay an annual membership fee. So that's kind of like a monthly subscription service...

  2. I like it. Also, you'd get a lot of people who wouldn't so much as decide they wanted to keep a book, but just forget to return. After a couple notices you could charge them, like they do with Redbox. I like bookstores, and I miss them. I would like to think that even a couple of large stores will survive. Where I live, we have a small used bookstore, and then a Hastings, which does all kinds of media, and I don't like it.


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