Barnes & Noble, Data and the Brick-and-Mortar Bookstore Experience

bookstores, barnes & noble, data, amazon, publishersDo you still shop at your local bookstore? I typically go once, maybe twice a year, and the last time for me was December 2015. This weekend, though, I made a rare summer visit to my local Barnes & Noble in search of books for my almost six-month-old grandson, Jasper. No matter how good Amazon makes its “Look Inside” feature, it will never replace the experience of flipping through a children’s book, especially those with pop-ups, pull-tabs and other fun elements you find in so many children’s titles.

It was a rainy Saturday afternoon and there were at most 10-15 other shoppers in the entire store. That got me thinking: what are the compelling reasons to shop at a physical bookstore? The “buy local” movement is a nice, feel-good incentive for consumers, but it’s not a viable long-term strategy for brick-and-mortar stores.

Despite my love/hate relationship with Amazon over the years, I admit that I currently buy almost all my books there. Thanks to Prime, my wife and I spend a lot on plenty of other Amazon products every month, too. That’s the beast we consumers created, and it simply replaced another beast that preceded it: the formerly powerful combo of B&N and Borders superstores.

Much more.

Related: Curation, Bookstores and Open-mindedness

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