The Atlantic reports that retail behemoth Amazon has opened a brick-and-mortar store in its hometown Seattle. My first thought is that it’s a smart move because not only Seattle is the most well-read city in the country, the space is to promote a sense of community.
My impression from looking at the pictures is that the giant space, named Amazon Books, is Borders-like in its aesthetic (sorry, Barnes & Noble, the wooden shelves with ladder on rails and warm yellow lighting just remind me of the extinct bookseller). It’s like revival of gargantuan bookstore from the last decade. It’s like a Half Priced Books but with new books. It’s a space that encourages patrons (not just readers) to hang out in, to spend time in, and to hand out. It makes sense to encourage community confluence, engendering a sense of community in a more educated setting.
Though I had my fallout with Amazon, due to the dispute over censored dispute from 10 years ago, I like the fact that selection of books on display at the bookstore is determined by the community. So you’re not just looking at bestsellers the distributors are pushing. The community of readers has a say. I wish Amazon would take a step further to collaborate with book bloggers in book recommendations.