Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Multipurpose book stores

Books are my passion. I read about new books coming out, author interviews, publishing news, etc. And lately things about the publishing industry are focused on what's next - how can publishers keep making money to pay their staff, keep publishing good material, and stay in business? There are a lot of questions floating around about the future of picture books (which I love) and the impact e-books (so far, the jury is out on these for me) will make on the industry as a whole.

Here's one thing I have noticed recently - my local bookstores (from two of the major chains) seem to be looking for ways to make their brick-and-mortar stores serve more purposes than just books. Both have cafes (only one seems to serve non-coffee items for younger patrons), and both sell DVDs and music. Both have also been pushing their toy offerings - games, Lego sets, stuffed animals. 

There was something new at one shop recently though - the craft section.

Craft and activity books have always been a part of the shop offerings, but this display was pretty extensive - there were several more sections. There were fashion design sets, scrapbook kits, and how-to kits for crafts like quilling and knitting. 

Some may find this annoying - watering down the book selections available to kids because so much shelf space is devoted to these other things - but I like it. Granted, I am a crafty person, but I like the idea of letting kids explore their creative sides. My only criticism is that so much of it is girl-y. Some crafts that would appeal to boys would be great, too.

Have you noticed anything new at your usual book-spots?

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