First off, I would have a cafe!
(Pic courtesy of www.storiebookcafe.com)
Don't you just want to go there RIGHT NOW?
Next, I would address this issue raised at today's Digital Book World conference as quoted in today's Publisher's Lunch:
(Jane) Friedman scored emotional points in noting that "what we're talking about today is community" and independent booksellers "been practicing social media since the begin of time, we just weren't calling it that." She thinks the world has come "full circle" and indies "have an opportunity." Those stores are "going to be a very small portion of sales," Napack replied, "but their role in bringing books to market is essential." He added, "the challenge they face is being the showroom for online" purchases.
HOW would I tackle this problem? By having a few of these in my store. The wondrous, amazing, incredible ESPRESSO BOOK MACHINE. (Only I'd hire Datamancer to redecorate them.) In my store folks could browse, choose, meander over to the Espresso and order their book, and while it's printing they can order a drinkable espresso in the cafe. And MAGIC! A few minutes later they can sip and read. Convenience AND community!!!!
At the 2009 Pacific Northwest Writer's Association Conference I stood up and asked a panel of New York editors what they thought of the Espresso Book Machine. Many in the audience tittered, and only one editor had even heard of it. I hope that's changing. A world without book stores is a poor world.
So, am I horribly naive? Ahead of my time? A hopeless dreamer? Let me know. And I'd love to know what YOUR book store would be like!