This is a branch of Chapters - the equivalent of Borders - hardly looks like a bookstore, does it?
But on the positive side, I was impressed by the care taken by the Toronto Central branch of Indigo, where I found all kinds of interesting displays designed to unite books with readers who would enjoy them. That's where bricks and mortar stores need to concentrate their efforts to stay relevant. Having titles recommended, either by a human or a well-thought-out display, tips the balance between buying a book in the shop or getting it later online.
Here are books for Book Clubs, and mystery lovers.
The books most often stolen! Fascinating set of titles!
And special interest books grouped together so customers can browse them easily, probably finding more than one they'd like to buy.
There's no silver bullet to 'fix' the problems with book selling, and I think bookshops will continue to struggle in the face of cheaper and more convenient book-buying options. It will come down to customer support. If they can offer an experience the customer is willing to pay a little more for, then they'll survive.
Meanwhile, writers continue to find new and exciting ways to get their books in front of readers with or without bookstores.
Speaking of which - open invitation to a double book launch on Tuesday 10th, 6pm at Takapuna Library. Shauna Bickley and I are talking about our new publications Lies of the Dead and Sunstrike. All welcome!