Bookstores and Niche Marketing and Fluff

I love bookstores because they're a dying art in my world. 

No, literally my world. Not like a blanket statement about your world or our world. But I once swore I'd never read eBooks, and now I've got a good amount of them. Don't get me wrong, I still fantasize about having a study where I sit and smoke my pipe and drink expensive scotch and ogle at my comprehensive library of well-rounded (dusty) literature, with the swiveling ladder that connects to the top shelf, two stories up (this is obviously my rich clone's version of life - the one who passed up poetry for neuroscientist as a career endeavor). 

But anyway, a library on an iPad weighs a lot less than a library in a backpack, so I've opted for eBooks on tour. When Brandi and I first got married I brought at least fifty books on the road with us and lined them all up at the foot of our bed in the RV. During the day, when we drove around, they'd all fall on the head of whoever was sitting at the table below. 

Last week I walked into a bookstore in San Francisco. I haven't kept up with what's new and bestselling, but it was an independent shop with a great selection. It smelt like fresh pages and wooden shelves. 

I've been thinking more and more about aesthetics. Holding a novel in my hand. Painted wood paneling or screen printed poster board. DIY projects and the look and feel of a thing rough against my fingertips and what capturing it looks like in a Spotify generation. Seth Godin has put a lot of emphasis on niche marketing lately. The counter-productivity of mass appeal, like maybe the best thing for your business isn't generalizing yourself for a radio hit so that more people can skip your track in the first twenty seconds of it. Maybe it's investing in the smallness of your social capital and believing that the people who really care about what you're doing, who know that you really care for them, will build for you what paid Facebook boosts won't: longevity. 

At least I think that's part of what Seth talks about, sometimes, but I also don't understand all of it, and I actually don't think he said, verbatim, any of it. 

Anyway, I liked that bookstore in San Francisco.

Levi The PoetComment