On Open Salon, blogger jlsalthre posts a wry list of 25 things she learned from opening a bookstore. While most of them are observations about what kinds of people buy what kinds of print books, there are a few that show a rather pointed awareness of the electronic medium and the effects it is having:

1.  People are getting rid of bookshelves.  Treat the money you budgeted for shelving as found money.  Go to garage sales and cruise the curbs.

2.  While you’re drafting that business plan, cut your projected profits in half.  People are getting rid of bookshelves.

14.  More people want to sell books than buy them, which means your initial concerns were wrong.  You will have no trouble getting books, the problem is selling them.  Plus a shortage of storage space for all the Readers Digest books and encyclopedias that people donate to you.

Overall, the list is a hilarious (and maybe a little sad) read, and many of us will recognize ourselves in some of the reader types she describes. And the more serious points do enumerate the challenges that anyone who wants to run a bookstore will face in this rapidly e-shifting world.

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TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows has been writing for us--except for a brief interruption--since 2006. Son of two librarians, he has worked on a third-party help line for Best Buy and holds degrees in computer science and communications. He clearly personifies TeleRead's motto: "For geeks who love books--and book-lovers who love gadgets." Chris lives in Indianapolis and is active in the gamer community.


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