We all have all sorts of business ideas, never executed, buzzing around in our heads. “Turo, but for dogs,” and the like.
One of mine, long-standing, has been a bookstore that only sells 10 books. I figured that, in this age of infinite choice, curated limitation is attractive.
Overwhelmed by the billion books on Amazon.com? Come to Pete’s Bookateria, and free yourself from choice!
But this morning I read Lewis Buzbee, in The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop:
One thing is certain in the aesthetics of bookstore design: if there’s too much space, there’s not enough books, and pretty soon, customers will stop coming, and so the decline begins. Customers are seduced into a bookstore because it seems to thrive; we want to see lots of books. We are much more likely to be drawn to a messy bookstore than a neat one because the mess signifies vitality. We are not drawn to a bookstore because of tasteful, Finnish shelves in gunmetal gray mesh, each one displaying three carefully chosen, color-coordinated covers. Clutter—orderly clutter, if possible—is what we expect. Like a city. It’s not quite a city unless there’s more than enough.
So, right: an integral aspect of bookstores is all the books we don’t want to buy.
Part of the joy of browsing a good bookstore is the knowledge that, in the sea of books that hold no interest, are the two or three books that do—my books, the ones the bookseller secured with me in mind, uniquely.
My idea—let’s relieve the pressure of choice—removes that delight.
So I’m moving it to the rejected-business-idea pile.
But if you’re interested in fractional dog ownership, let’s talk.