Saturday, July 18, 2009

What the bookstore knows ... and the library doesn't

My son can always find at least five books he wants to take home with him every time we go to the bookstore. Chip off the old block, and I'm proud. I never get out of the bookstore myself without dropping at least $50.

So why doesn't the library elicit the same reaction? Same product, right, only it's free and you can return it as soon as the new wears off?

It's simple. The bookstore is smarter. Our library is very kid friendly. It's got places for kids to color, story times, toy dinosaurs, and puzzles. They put the emphasis everywhere BUT the books. So the result: The kids go there and play. And don't crack a book.

Our bookstore is so different. The books are displayed in splashy, colorful glory. On racks where the kids can reach. With turn styles, on tables, and brilliantly sectioned by age and interest. It's easy to find Dr. Suess or a new book on whales.

Sorry, Dewey Decimal system. You're just not that kid friendly.

The bookstore has to be smarter. Otherwise kids won't sample the crack they're selling. The word stew will never be sampled, and they'll miss out on a lifelong customer.

Wish my library could figure that out.

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