As I mentioned in last week’s “This Week in Publishing,” Borders is working on some new strategery that includes both the internets and their brick and mortar stores.
So this got me to thinking (a dangerous thing, to be exercised with great caution): which way do you see the future headed? Which way will things trend: will the internet inspire new innovations that make bookstores appealing destinations for browsing, hanging out and (hopefully) buying, or does the convenience of the internet and the ability to easily find new and obscure books make the bookstore obsolete? Will there be fewer but bigger book superstores or more but smaller niche bookstores? Will our robot overlords make us eat books for survival, and if so, will we be delivered daily rations or will we have to go to the book/grocery store?
I’d also like to give a shout out to one of my very favorite bookstores, Borderlands in San Francisco’s Mission District, home of Ripley the ridiculously awesome hairless sphinx and official mascot of Borderlands. If Ripley had been born a couple of thousand years ago we might all today be worshipping at shrines dedicated to her awesomeness and offering sacrifices of catnip and sunscreen.