Amazon Kindle books might be going back to paper, as a bookstore is set to open in Boston. The idea behind this is that Amazon feels there is still life left in stores that sell written work printed on paper.
Some older readers might consider this a positive step back to basics, as many feel that the tangible paper just feels more personal. Paper had been the standard for the average work of fiction or nonfiction for centuries, beginning with the scroll in the early days. The most hardcore readers often felt that the hardcover novel was the best format available, a hearty weight revealing that as a true fan, you put about twice as much money into it than with paperbacks.
The trend continued into the early 2000s when we saw the emergence of electronic books (aka ebooks). The major competitors between these formats were Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook, the latter of which proved to be pricier. Add in the fact that Amazon allows independent authors the option to publish for free, and you have the ultimate winner among the hipster crowd.
However, as more and more readers found a box full of paperbacks and hardcovers to be a bit unwieldy, the popularity of the actual book fell. With Amazon Kindle books, you could literally have your entire library right on your Kindle, Android, or iPhone device, and there was nothing additional to carry around. If you didn’t have room for the ebook due to memory problems, you could simply remove the Amazon Kindle book from your device and download it again later.
The Boston Globe says that the company began to experiment with the idea of a brick-and-mortar store in late 2015 in Seattle. A bit larger than your average hole-in-the-wall Amazon bookstores, it offers options for visitors. You could purchase a hard copy right there in the store, order it sent to your home, or buy it for download on your Kindle device or mobile app for smartphones.
The physical stores are expected to be built not only in Boston, but also in San Diego, Portland, and possibly Chicago and New York. They will offer not only physical books once again, but they will also have Amazon devices on hand, including the Echo speaker/microphone. The bookstores are currently hiring managers and retail associates, possibly looking to rival Apple’s iPhone stores with a crowd who prefers to read more.
This would certainly be an example of Amazon going back to its roots, as the online store originally only sold books. They eventually expanded to sell everything from PlayStation 4 consoles to metal bed frames, making the site a one-stop place to shop for just about anything. The system of reviews and ratings also helps sellers gain a reputation as being better than those who simply drop the item in a box and shove it out the door as a used seller. There will allegedly be kiosks that offer the same option, where you can look up reviews on Amazon Kindle books you might want to purchase.
After having gone from a simply online bookstore to an international market for almost anything, Amazon seems to be attempting a comeback as what Barnes and Noble used to be. Just don’t expect to pick up a set of tools or a 4K HDTV while you’re there, since books and Amazon brand-name products will be the focus.
Are you planning to visit one of the stores and see what the Amazon Kindle book selection has to offer in person?