From The Seattle Times:
For years, Amazon.com has been the place to find the cheapest books and in the most convenient way. Now, Amazon is trying to emulate the neighborhood bookstores we adore with its new brick-and-mortar location in University Village.
But places like Third Place Books, The Elliott Bay Book Company and my own place of work, A Book For All Seasons, can never be replaced. The experience of an indie bookstore just can’t be bought.
People won’t go to Amazon’s bookstore for enjoyment. The model is utilitarian, impersonal and cold. And with the rise of Amazon’s Kindle, customers risk losing contact with the heart of the book industry.
. . . .
At your local independent bookstore, we want people to browse on their own time, on their own terms. We have recommendations scattered throughout the store — but that’s not why you come. You come because you want to make a discovery, one that will be your own.Why would I go to a bookstore where all the work has been done for me? People are unique. We don’t want to feel like another data point, another sale in the machine that tells the company how many books to buy. Indie bookstores also use sales data, but we leave ample room for experimentation and improvisation. If I remember an amazing book from my childhood that I think we should carry, I can tell my boss. We have the freedom to experiment, which means our customers do, too.
Link to the rest at The Seattle Times
PG says that, for some people, bookstores are a lifestyle, maybe with a little virtue-signalling thrown in.
PG just wants to find a good book that he will enjoy. He trusts the collective judgment of the Amazon customer reviews and also-boughts more than he does the recommendation of a random bookstore employee, no matter how unique and virtuous that employee may be.