Part of the reason for the well-documented resurgence in independent bookstores has been their ability to adapt to the needs of their communities in ways that larger or online companies cannot. Booksellers are flexible, creative, and responsive, but they’re also adventurous, brave, and perceptive. We’re currently seeing these traits in action in the proliferation of alternative business models; in particular, the resurgence of independently owned and operated bookmobiles.
The customer experience of shopping at a bookstore is pretty much like shopping at any other store. You walk in and see merchandise on display. Someone who works there may greet you and ask if they can help you find anything. You either find something you want to buy or you don’t. But for numerous reasons (I’ve boiled it down to ten), bookselling is substantially different from most retail operations.