Book shops

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I am going to do short posts whenever time and content is not available.

I visited the Om Book Shop at Ambience Mall on Saturday. I just wanted to get out of the house and a book shop is a good place to kill time. I really miss Crossword in Delhi NCR. The store at Nirmal Lifestyle, Mulund is my favourite where I have killed hours and hours. Why are there a dearth of book shops in NCR? Why did Landmark shut shop in Gurgaon?

But that’s not what I was thinking then. I have stopped buying books because I now read on a kindle. It’s so convenient and so much better than carrying a book. Best part is I can read on my laptop, on the kindle, on my phone, on Ipad anytime anyplace and the last read location is synced everywhere. And e-books are cheaper. What I do miss, is sharing books. Unless I give you my userid and password you cannot read a book I have purchased. Unless we are married and then you can just use the kindle. No, actually, you can’t because I read on it. You can use some other device where am logged in to read a book purchased by me.

I love going to book shops to get recommendations. The recommendations section on my website (Amazon, goodreads – unless people I know recommend a book, flipkart etc) suck. Like, I can walk into a bookstore and make a note of 10 books I want to read. That doesn’t happen when online. For example, I saw Shopholic and Stars as soon as I entered Om Book Shop. I didn’t even know it has been launched. The websites don’t know am a fan of Shopholic series. How were they to recommend it to me? Goodreads knows that I just finished reading Sophie Kinsella’s book but has not bothered to recommend this book.

BUT all this does not translate into sales. I walked out of Om Book shop empty handed. And it broke my heart. I love book shops and want them to survive but cannot buy hard copies of books. What is the future? Can people walk into a store and buy e-books? Can Amazon expand their network to let book stores sell e-books on kindle? How is this going to work? Reminds me of the movie ‘You’ve got Mail’.

Any ideas? Or am I being paranoid because majority of the people still read books and book shops are probably doing fine. What do you think?

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