Before launching a business, some people invest in market research and feasibility studies. Josh Spencer is not one of those people — otherwise he might never have opened his downtown L.A. used bookstore in December 2009, let alone moved it a few blocks away this month to a 10,000-square-foot space.
I find this fascinating. People are praising Mr. Spencer for opening a bookstore “in these dire times” and yet they seem to forgot about the thousands of independent booksellers who have remained open in spite of the eBook boom. I’m glad that this has seemingly renewed the interest in bookstores, but I don’t understand why we haven’t been trying to save the bookstores we already have.
I know that I’m partly to blame. I bought a Nook Color recently and I am exceedingly excited to start using it to read my books. I also, however, purchased the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series in paperback because wanted to keep them in my permanent library. Am I a bad person for preferring to read books on an eReader vs a physical copy?
Answer these 10 questions:
1. When was the last time you bought a book from an independent bookseller?
2. How many books do you buy from independent booksellers in a year?
3. What influences you most when it comes to purchasing books?
4. Why do you choose to buy a book vs. checking it out from a public library?
5. Who recommends books to you?
6. Where do you buy most of your books?
7. In what format do you buy most of your books?
8. Do you lend books out that you buy?
9. Would you be more willing to lend an eBook vs a physical copy of a book?
10. If your local independent bookseller had an online catalog, would you be more willing to purchase from them?
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