price-compare results for meta vendor sites


09 November 2006

The Written Nerd: Comment: Bookseller/Blogger To Watch; Bookstores & Chaos

Blogaulaire -

We just now googled "messy used bookstore" and came up with a blog and very interesting entry about neatness. The link and quote are at the bottom.

NOTE: I deleted the original introduction. Too personal.

The Written Nerd: Comment: Bookseller/Blogger To Watch; Bookstores & Chaos:

"I like browsing a good messy used bookstore myself. But I also think that this prejudice for civilized chaos belongs to an older model of bookstores, of publishing and even of literature: a game for gentlemen and geniuses, not to be undertaken for motives as base as profit. It's all very well to have 'mound[s] of dross' if your purpose in being a bookseller is just to relax among the books with your pipe and wax prolific about literature. If, however, one intends to run a bookstore as a business, a different model is necessary.

The sensation of discovering something unexpected is indeed valuable. Serendipity is one of my very favorite parts of the bookstore experience. But I think it can be achieved without resorting to mere messiness. Our job as booksellers is to seek out the new and wonderful and underpublicized books out there, to put them on our tables and face-out displays, to surprise the lucky bookstore patron with the book they didn't know they wanted. This kind of egalitarian display chaos – bestseller next to indie press unknown – is my kind of chaos.

And I think it can co-exist with sections organized alphabetically, clear and consistent signage, and an absence of detritus and dirt. Surprising books are a sign that a bookstore's staff is creative. Disorganization is a sign that they just don't care enough to keep the place neat.

But maybe I'm wrong. Feel free to share your thoughts on chaos vs. order, serendipity vs. organization, neatnik nerdiness vs. bohemian laissez faire.

I'll be busy dusting the information desk."

No comments: