As you may have heard, Amazon has become part of the tangible world. They now have bookstores! And one has opened near me. So of course, as a book lover, I had to go check one out. What did I find?
So my first impression was that this place was huge. It looked massive from the outside. However when I got in it did have quite a cozy feel. I was quite impressed to find seating places that people could sit down to read the books, but there weren’t tons of those kinds of places. It seemed some people were actually reading the books and others were checking through before they bought.
As you can see the bookstore is neat. Everything is placed specifically and there is absolutely no mess in the store. Don’t get me wrong, I do love organization but this was just too organized. There was no mess and not a single book was out of place. That was just a little bit strange. While places like Barnes & Noble are organized, they are tightly packed and there are so many books to choose between. This one was so much more simple and organized, only displaying popular books. And these books were popular on Amazon’s website, not overall.
It was certainly pleasing to the eye, don’t get me wrong. I would be able to come in, easily find what I want and then leave. It was built for the purpose of being efficient. Not making people stay for hours and look over tons of books and then find something exciting that they hadn’t gone in with the intention of getting. Sure, I saw books that looked good. But when books are messy, it’s the title that get’s me and I pull out so many more books that I would not have ever looked at. Here you see tons of covers, some you didn’t intend to look at, but it’s so much more streamlined and not about digging and finding something special.
They did have this interesting section of “if you liked…you will like”. In a small bookstore I would think this was cute. However here, it was like I was viewing it online. It just didn’t sit right with me.
Also, there were NO prices. On the places where price tags would be, there was the name of the book and the top rated review of the book. But to get a price, you had to take it to a scanner where you would see the regular price and the Prime priced item.
Also a lot of the books were only like 3 or 4 books deep. There weren’t tons of a book out. Sure, that is to make it look better, but I like seeing more books out. Not a display book and like 2 or 3 others for purchasing.
They also had a section for basics. These things are things like headphones and chargers that you might need. Kind of like a mini Apple store section or something like that. I didn’t see the point of this…..and found it kind of silly. But…I mean, if it works…? Sure?
The first thing that is shoved down your throat when you walk into this store is their product, such as Alexa, Echo or the Amazon Fire. I really didn’t like that. Almost a quarter of the store was dedicated to THEIR product. I found this silly and unrelated. There were no other reading devices and no other options. Just their product. And I didn’t like that it was the first thing that you walked into.
Finally, the people working there didn’t give you a personalized service and weren’t willing to help you. They just were doing their job and weren’t there to give you suggestions. I stood looking at the travel books for a decent amount of time, and in a book store that size, someone should have come and asked if I needed help. But no one did. This kind of bothered me. It was just a lot of, “Are you ready to check out?” I didn’t like that. I like talking, I like talking about books and I love suggestions. I didn’t get that here.
Overall, while I will not deny that it was pleasing to the eye, it was not my kind of store. I prefer something messier and tightly crammed. While I go into a bookstore generally looking for something, I like to find things that I didn’t mean to find. That is what a bookstore is for!
I’d suggest checking one out, if you have one near you, but there are so many better bookstores out there that deserve your attention.
Keep it local and small guys!