How can bookstores compete with amazon?

Kinokuniya Book World – Dubai Mall (photo by Time Out Dubai)

Let me start off by stating that I am a learning junky so, naturally, reading is one of my favorite hobbies. But because I’m also a very sociable person, I don’t like libraries. I like to read at the cafe with my headphones on, where I can lose myself in my ideas and pause for people watching or talk to someone.

Consequently, a bookstore feels like a playground to me.

But not just any kind of bookstore. It needs to have a good selection of books that interest me (I browse mostly the business section) but more than that, it needs to be a comfortable place. When all I want is to quickly buy a book, I order from  amazon.

Back when I was living in Europe, Fnac was my place of choice. It has tons of books and a café inside the store. Anyone is allowed to read books as they please – the store’s reading spaces with comfy couches and good lighting invite customers to do so. Readers can even do it while enjoying their coffee and then walk away without buying anything.

When I moved to Dubai I was introduced to a whole new level of NERDY awesomeness that goes by the name of Kinokuniya Book World. It’s a japanese book store so HUGE it could fit 5 Fnacs inside of it. I’m guessing it’s called Book World because it’s the size of the World and the oceans are made of books.

This store is located in the Dubai Mall, which is in my neighborhood… Walking Distance! I’ve spent countless afternoons there, browsing, reading or working on my MacBook while enjoying the beautiful Burj Khalifa view from their Japanese-themed cafe.

This store is no joke: 68.000 sqft! You will find books on everything and anything in there, the same way you would find them in amazon’s warehouse. It beats the crap out of Fnac in terms of book selection.

The problem is, it lacks the customer experience Fnac has been so cleverly providing for more than 50 years. Continue reading “How can bookstores compete with amazon?”

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How can bookstores compete with amazon?