When Bookstores Become Libraries That Become Apple Stores

These two stories somehow seem related on the effect digital books have on places that house physical books.

Lorem Ipsum Books1. Cambridge, Mass.’s Lorem Ipsum bookstore — a fixture of Inman Square — was one of the first bookstore’s to embrace the digital book revolution. The store is in need of help and struggling to make a profit. Owner Matt Mankins is trying to imagine what a viable bookstore financial model will become in the future. His solution? Turning Lorem Ipsum into a quasi-library-cum-Netflix for books.

According to Wicked Local: “Repeat customers will be able to choose from three different pricing models: a “Netflix” tier priced at $7.99 per month where customers would be able to check out books as if from a library; at $25 per month, customers can check out as many books as they want but also receive a percentage off books they decide to keep, and would receive a discounted rate for in-store events; and at $100 per month, subscribers would also give access to a “writer’s room,” or a daily writing session along with an unlimited pass to all of the in-store events.”

Mankins is also focusing on the book events business to drive foot traffic and sales.

2. Bexar County, Texas has proposed a $1.5 million bookless library for San Antonio that would look an awful lot like an Apple Store. Basically, it’ll be a giant computer cluster with a coffee shop that lets people have the ability to check out tablets and e-readers pre-loaded with books.

Libraries, at their heart, are a community gathering place for information seekers. Nothing that says you have to have physical media at that location to meet those requirements. If we find one more story like this we have an official journalism trend on the effect digital books have had on places that peddle in physical books.

Update: Lorem Ipsum has started a crowd-funding campaign to raise enough money to stay in business. They have two days to raise $29K or they’ll be evicted from their home.

Comments on this entry are closed.