What does the bookstore of the future look like? Wrong answers only (or maybe absurd answers too)


Another participant – Kim Patch, Rozzie Bound, Boston


  • We all came up with bad ideas of terrible bookstores of the future
  • “Sharing” home libraries with the bookstore as the trading post, taking a cut
  • Pick a review journal and have those books in stock, charge a subscription fee for customers to come in and borrow the books for a set period of time
  • Every store has an associated nonprofit for various types of programs
  • Maybe stifling the flow of new titles isn’t a bad thing? There are sooooo many new books each year, far far more than there used to be
  • What are ways we could capture more revenue, e.g. from books changing hands
  • Stop thinking about money – part of making community outreach a priority
  • In communities where many work from home, can we capture the coffee shop business of folks who work remotely? What would this mean for B2B opportunities?
  • Book mobiles
  • Put kids front and center: key to diversity, gets parents into the shop as well
  • Dyslexic-friendly books for adults
  • Nonprofits!!!
  • Could every bookstore also be a public library that’s a nonprofit or take in government money?
  • Different levels of engagement: traditional bookstore AND nonprofit AND exclusive club AND ????
  • Make our own publishing houses – at scale, multiple bookstores working together
  • Get more celebrities on board, viral marketing campaigns, journalists always asking “what are you reading next?”
  • Self-pubbed books that have bookstore stamps of approval
  • Curate bookshelves at other businesses
  • How can we get paid?
    • Government subsidies
    • Nonprofits
    • subscription/memberships
    • Make ourselves part of the military industrial complex – promise to build a missile silo and sell books instead 😉
    • VC funding
    • Personal shopping hours or a cover charge
    • Event (e.g. weddings) hosting
    • Impact investing
    • Incorporating as a B corporation
    • Monetize everything you possibly can
  • What’s up with e-books and how can the US bookstore market compete with Kindle?
  • Solicit bequests from deceased supporter’s estates

From John: 

time share condo, exclusive, saleable, inheritable

ice cream parlor serving food

distributed bookstore – in homes, need invite

metaverse – books in these games

train switch out the books somehow

mcdonald’s room, all VR and pick up on drive thru

multiple modes of exchange, offering a story in exchange

haunted house, room to room, exploring finding stuff 

information center, happen to leave with a book

combined with a worksharing space – 

liberated from real estate

deep back list taken out of circulation – amway model

mobilize customer and friends grassroots door to door

app on a cell phone, catered to various audiences

distributed to private buyers / craigslist / in home

Book Stores (Bk) also shipping centers, faster than amazon

gathering place for the community

Bk – banded together, like make the bookstores in seattle monitize home library to share and draw into stores, stores get a cut

booksmith/bookswap every quarter

as a used bookstore we do this already

bring in, read it, return it. 

small lending shelf keyed to like-minded review sources, subscription to have books on hand for review, purchase at discount when eclipsed, 3/4 price for non subscribers

mad hatter rotate one book to the right for a book club

more curation, stiffling the flow the a little better 


Great documentary on Napster by Alex Winter: https://alexwinter.com/projects/downloaded/ [from email] 

ways to bring more people into bookstores

for profit bookmobile 

piggy-backed, asking boss for a bookmobile for a designated day, special day to deliver 

bus upkeep, rent, mobile hot spot, smaart, fun, adorably cute

combined with ice cream truck, what music to play

putting kids front and center, key, welcoming for kids, that parent could also enjoy that has something for them.

all of these ideas for community mental health, literacy, etc. non-profit


Antonia Squire Bridport UK Bookseller she/her to Everyone (10:39 AM) https://www.worldbookday.com/about-us/

Antonia Squire Bridport UK Bookseller she/her to Everyone (10:39 AM) Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income.

Ann Seaton, CALIBA to Everyone (10:47 AM) Elayna, does the cooking store note that the book selection come from Napa Bookmine? Do you cross-promote in other ways?

Elayna Trucker, Napa Bookmine, Bookstore Leader to Everyone (10:50 AM) yes! they had a big beautiful sign made up and a big window sticker

Ann Seaton, CALIBA to Everyone (10:50 AM) Perfect.

Elayna Trucker, Napa Bookmine, Bookstore Leader to Everyone (10:50 AM) and send folks our way if they don’t have what they want

Len Vlahos, Author, Former Bookseller to Everyone (11:05 AM) And… what we were offering wasn’t as good as the competition.

Julie Wernersbach, GM/Buyer, P&T Knitwear, NYC, she/her to Everyone (11:06 AM) I do still use my Kobo, though! (For digital galleys.) Beat up little thing that it is…

Antonia Squire Bridport UK Bookseller she/her to Everyone (11:06 AM) Yeah – and that’s what I’ve always loved about Praveen,  let’s focus on what we do better than our competition.  It took us a long time to get that message

3 Cs – curation  community & convenience (missing third C)

Hummingbird – 


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