A few weeks after opening, I finally visited the Amazon bookstore in the University Village shopping center of Seattle, Washington.
The first thing I thought (along with just about everyone else hearing the news) is that it’s ironic that Amazon has decided to come out with a physical bookstore when they grew in size and scope by putting so many other physical bookstores out of business.
As far as appearance goes, the bookstore is pretty nice! The store is brightly lit, with rows of bookshelves along with areas designed for handling and testing out kindle products. News coverage of the store has explained that it is different from other bookstores because Amazon is using its huge database to stock only products that they believe will sell in a timely manner. Reps from Amazon have also said that instead of the spine out displays that are typical and are able to fit more books, they will show the book faces. This way the books each get more space and are easier to browse through.
Ironic or not, I love a bookstore and Amazon may be onto something with how they stock and display books. Either way, only time will tell the success of Amazon’s first physical bookstore and whether there will be more to come in the future….
This is a really sweet story. A few pages in, I wasn’t sure whether to stick with The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin because the main character is a snobby bookstore owner. I can’t stand people who think that they are superior because their reading tastes are “more advanced” than others and that’s what I saw in this character. At least, that’s what I felt at first.
Just a quick heads up, there are a few small spoilers ahead.
A.J. Fikry, a grumpy isolated man, is in a dark place in his life until a baby girl is abandoned in his bookstore with a desperate mother’s note asking for help. A.J. ends up connecting with the child and takes her into his home. This baby brings him back to life and her arrival changes him, making him open up to let in the world around him. He allowed the people in his community to become a part of his life as well, turning the bookshop into a central meeting spot.
The scenes between the two were funny as well, A.J. googling the different aspects of childrearing like how to run a bath or change a diaper, and the child’s view of the bookstore. This is a pretty quick story, only a couple hundred pages long, and I recommend it!