< When Event Organizers Tip Their Hand
Next >

Taxonomy Of Used Bookstores: There are two types of used bookstores: those that try to look like new bookstores and those that try to look like antiquarian bookstores. The difference, I believe, stems from the fact that the former buy remaindered books in relative bulk. They then figure that because they have multiple copies of books, they should go all the way and create a well-lit, spacious place with well-organized book sections marked by preprinted signs, and try to pass for a new bookstore that has really good prices. Sometimes they also sell almost-outdated calendars, used software, and so on.

The other type gets all its books from individuals selling their books, so they don't have multiple copies of anything except Atlas Shrugged. These bookstores cram their books together on buckling shelves and hand-letter their section names to create the impression of a disorganized antiquarian bookstore in which a careless employee has thoughtlessly priced a first edition Hemmingway at trade paperback prices.

Some used bookstores that would otherwise fall into the second category look like the first category because they sell both new and used books. Other stores selling both types put the used books off to the side, in a separate room or on a separate floor. The new books are always closer to the cash register, because they are higher margin. In these cases it's like being in two bookstores simultaneously. Space and time become fluid and pliant, resulting in good bargains.

This has been Taxonomy Of Used Bookstores.

Filed under:


[Main]

Unless otherwise noted, all content licensed by Leonard Richardson
under a Creative Commons License.