Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Visit to an Amazon Bookstore

 After Malice Domestic, I stayed on with my daughter’s family for a few more days and we made a trip to Georgetown to see the Amazon bookstore there. When I wondered WHY one of the few brick-and-mortar stores, as the say, is there, they told me that Jeff Bezos lives in the DC area. Sure enough, I fund an article on his mansion and the $12 million redo.

Anyway, I was curious to see what Amazon thought a real bookstore should look like. Here’s the entrance to the rather small shop. There is a basement and a first floor. Here are a couple of shots of the upper floor.

Overview 1
Overview 2

I was amused at the marketing. They’re marketing to bookstore patrons in just about exactly the way they market to online shoppers. Here are the “fast reads” and the “if you liked this” sections.
3 days or less
If you liked this...

There is an attempt to appeal to the locals.  

If you scan a book, you can find out the Prime price, as opposed to the regular price.  

Now, let’s see how they do with mysteries. Here’s the total mystery section, in the basement section. 
Total mysteries and thrillers

The shelves are shallow, no more than 4-5 books of each title. 
Shallow shelves

I was pleased to see Miranda James on the shelf AND on the end cap. 
James 12 Angry Librarians

James on Bestseller endcap!

I was also pleased to see Jenny Milchman on a featured table at the front of the store. 
Jenny Milchmans' Wild River!

My daughter noted that she’s read every single book in the store that she wants to read. There was nothing there for her to buy. In other words, the store carried only what was the most popular on the Amazon site. There’s little or no chance to browse and discover a new, fresh title or author. I think Amazon has missed the point of bookstores. You get exactly what you get online in the store, so why go to the hassle of traveling and parking? Anyway, it was interesting and I’m glad I went. I DID buy a couple of things. 


  1. Thank you, Maryn. It was an interesting place.

  2. This was great to see. I've been curious, but I don't think I'll rush right out to find one. I thought it very interesting that they display the books the way Walmart does, that is, in stacks facing outward. No wonder there's such a small selection; that takes up a lot more room. But if they're only bothering with the most popular books, maybe it's enough. By the way, I like "the most popular". "Bestselling" has become so meaningless. A very good post, thanks for sharing.

  3. You're welcome! I'm glad you got something out of it.