Is this the future bookstore that will survive in the era of online shopping?

2016-03-26

Big and small bookstores are enjoyable and relaxing places to visit. Browsing books that are neatly lined on shelves, making discoveries, and judging cover art can easily take an hour or so. The reality is, however, that if you are looking for a certain kind of book, you are more likely to find it on an online bookstore. Bricks-and mortar bookstores can’t compete against online stores with selection or prices, but they must find other ways to get people step in.

shakespeare et co, espresso book machine

The Espresso Book Machine in Shakespeare & Co.

Large bookstores trust that cafés can draw customers in, but cafés are already everywhere – they are hardly the primary reason to visit a bookstore. When a bookstore has a café where customers can wait while the book they have ordered is being printed, it is whole new concept.

In New York, bookstore Shakespeare & Co has acquired an expensive machine that can print individual books at low price. The Espresso Book Machine is not a new invention, but the store concept of Shakespeare & Co is. Caleb Mason, who is a publisher and agent, visited the store in New York and he believes it can be the model for the bookstore of the future.

At Shakespeare & Co, you can buy a book that is not in the store. You order the book you want, and the Espresso Book Machine prints it for you while you wait. The store is located at 939 Lexington Avenue, New York.

In Paris, Presses Universitaires de France has acquired an Espresso Book Machine to compete against (none other than) Amazon. The Parisian bookstore wants to be able to deliver books to customers faster than Amazon that promises delivery in 24 hours. You can visit the Presses Universitaires de France bookstore at 60 rue Monsieur Le Prince in the 6th arrondissement.


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