What should bookshops do?

A Saturday morning earlier this month, I stopped by at Orell Füssli in Zürich. I actually visited 2 Orell Füssli bookshops in Zürich that morning: Orell Füssli The Bookshop at Bahnhofstrasse 70, and Orell Füssli Kramhof at Füsslistrasse 4. The 2 bookshops are located relatively close to each other, and both bookshops are nice places, I think. That Orell Füssli has a relatively large bookshop in a very central location with books in English language is a sign, I think, that the city of Zürich is a truly international city. I like that.

Anyway, as I was sitting in one of the comfortable, red sofas in The English Bookshop reading a book and drinking a cup of coffee, that I bought right there in the bookshop for CHF 2 using a self service coffee machine making really good coffee, I came to think about how a bookshop will develop over the next years. What pushed me to think about this question was, not least, a small exhibition with the SONY e-reader in a corner of the bookshop’s bottom floor.

I have read about e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle, the SONY e-reader, as well as the LG Display solar cell e-Book. But this was actually the first time that I tried one out. My impression about the e-reader is positive. I think it’s easy to use, and what I’m particularly thrilled about is that, with the e-reader, I could free up space at home that I use to store physical books.

Inviting people to read books, sit in comfortable sofas or chairs, and enjoy a cup of coffee right in the bookshop are good initiatives by Orell Füssli, I think. Initiatives like these add value to the customer experience, I sensed as I saw many people there having a good time.

Reflecting on new value adding initiatives for bookshops such as Orell Füssli, I came to think about another initiative that could add even more value to the customer experience: How about facilitating events for people at all ages on how to use the various e-readers that are coming onto the market?
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