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Old 11-25-2019, 08:15 AM   #61
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Book publishing in your country (Spain?) must be very different than American bookstores. I have never seen a bookstore organized as you describe it and it feels like that would be a terrible browsing experience for me.
Same - I have never seen a bookstore arranged like this in the Anglosphere (Australia, the UK, USA, Canada anyway).
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:25 AM   #62
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The only time I had ever seen books displayed in (actual) series order, was when THE STORE created a special event display.
All the rest of the time, books (not in a specific genre section) (even those) were filed by Author-Title
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Old 11-29-2019, 02:38 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
Book publishing in your country (Spain?) must be very different than American bookstores
Not Spain really, but yes Europe. (Of the examples: Odile Jacob is an excellent French publisher, focalized on scientific divulgation. Einaudi has been one of the most prominent Italian publishers, employing in the golden years, handpicking, Italo Calvino. Debolsillo is a Spanish publisher related to other big players such as Penguin; I have their omnia for the works of Cortázar. Diogenes Verlag is a Swiss publisher important in the German speaking "market".)

Incidentally: keeping an eye on other markets (other countries/languages) is relevant for the theme of "completeness". I found for example that it is good "to keep an eye on the French" as they may publish pearls that will hardly pass their borders; I was thinking of data science as the trigger of this sentence, but really they are for instance very attentive towards data-oriented geopolitics... Material that if not actively met, if you do not move to find it, will be missed (largely untranslated).

About "different publishing practices", as I wrote that list, none of the anglophone books I could immediately find in my shelves seemed to contain series references. It is very typical instead in other regions - "strict monographies" typically occupy a specific series (which I could name "Flamboyant Coverpages").


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it feels like that would be a terrible browsing experience for me.

If I was in one of your stores and wanted to find Asimov's Foundation, first I would need to know who publishes it and what the series the publisher put it in.
You would find Foundation because you would locate the corridor of "Science Fiction" in the hall of "Narrative", and large number of Asimov books would appear together (not because of an all-embracing alphabetical order but because this author would hardly be scattered in many publishers). Reasonably, the grouping by publisher would start under the Science Fiction classification (all of the series devoted to S.F. would be collected there).

I understand looking for a specific title would normally require asking for assistance (as I do when I cannot immediately locate it myself) or checking the catalogue. But on the other hand, the publishing enterprise, the intellectual work behind the publications, emerges.

I have the same issue you indicate with the other classification method: I entered a bookstore which would be supposed to be the most interested in hosting series X, say, as the owners of the bookstore itself published it, and it was scattered on many tables... Now, I wanted to see what I was missing of the series, titles I did not know - I wanted to have them all together, and I gave up. I did not even think to ask for the catalogue... But then, the catalogue at hand, I would have needed constant assistance and 50 trips to check them. If you are not looking for a specific title, it is much better to have a well done grouping in front of you. And to my experience, "Series [professionally done]" beats "Dewey" (which certainly beats "pretty much sorted in broad categories only, we only have a thousand books here").


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That is how every bookstore I have ever been in is organized. Including ones I visited in Japan, so it's not just the Yanks that do this.
Very, very, very few bookstores are organized as I mentioned. I do not believe it is a matter of Country.

I think it is also a matter of the quantity of your collection. Most bookstores I meet have a meager selection: it is meaningless then to organize it outside broad categories. But when you have books in the order of the hundreds of thousands, you need a very good grouping system...

And there is where the factor of completeness, which you can benefit from, emerges. Browsing what you have in front in this case is already, so to say, "bibliographical research".

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Old 11-29-2019, 03:15 PM   #64
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But, also see my reply to ZodWallop on top, given that of course your effort is economical, you have limited time but so much to experience, welcome - what about having a proper idea of what you are offered, for taking your choices and priorities? In economical and procedural terms, "explore/exploit". You may want to see tentatively all that is available, have a way to do that. (And also, as written, to check the book completely.)
So, to make my input to Leebase now clearer: you may be able to just read whatever is in your list - and that is already luxury. Or, you may be confronted with the need to make stronger priorities, as time may be scarce. You problem is economical: you strive for an optimization of your time. You then need to properly explore your possibilities before exploiting them. If so, you may wish to know your options properly, which means as thoroughly as possible - "all" (in reasonable constraints) the titles available (and this also involves the other mentioned component, to explore, in this context, a full book instead of the first 3% pages).

Online catalogues (e.g. from resellers) are somehow like peeking through a keyhole (unless I am missing good resources). Publisher's catalogues are not as good as having them books at hand. This is why the physical collection in front of you - when rich, complete, well organized - is priceless.

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Old 11-29-2019, 06:39 PM   #65
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What problem? I have no problem finding ,ore books that I want to read than I have time to read. I prefer the ebook reading experience by far...and the ebook buying experience...by far.

Personal preference. Doesn’t extend to anybody else.

The point of the post is that I went back to a book store and found fond remembrances of when I used to go to book stores. It was nice to browse books and to see them visually. Even the smell of the books. Getting the books gift wrapped to actually hand a physical present instead of a gift card.

It was nice. Nice enough to bring me back into normal patronage? No. Not even close. I’m just glad that enough people still buy physical books such that my local book store still exists.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:09 PM   #66
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What problem? I have no problem finding ,ore books that I want to read than I have time to read
Yes, I wrote «Your problem» in generic terms, as "one's problem", not you specifically («you [generic] may be able [...] Or, you may be confronted with the need [...] [Then] Your problem is economical»).

As I wrote: those who just can read without a need to put much priority in picking what to read can be content with a list that does not result from extensive exploration (of what is available). Others may have a benefit, or just a wish, of exploring thoroughly what is available. For the latter, my point is, a properly furnished and organized bookstore is invaluable as it gives you a full physical catalogue - a catalogue not made by pictures and summaries but of the actual items.

You wrote «I have zero problems finding more books that I want to read but won't have time to read», so I pointed out that the scarcity of time immediately suggests defining priorities. Defining priorities imposes an "exploration" exercise. Well furnished and organized bookstores, I stated, can be precious for that exploration. This, in general: in your case specifically, it was clear that you are already set; I wanted to show the other side, for which online alternatives (those I know) do not seem to work.

This, as a further point from the many more that make good bookstores a good thing to have:
  • the display of the work of designers, which have been traditionally very important in the production of paper books at least in some regions;
  • that of the work of typographers;
  • that of the wealth of what is around you, like in cathedrals;
  • the immediate contact with the whole (as opposed to the query results);
  • the cultural mission;
  • the meeting point allowing exchanges with others just like here, etc.

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I prefer the ebook reading experience by far...and the ebook buying experience...by far
And my point was that the «ebook [titles browsing] experience» may leave much to be desired if compared with browsing a «full physical catalogue [...] made of the actual items». Not in terms of personal preference: I am stating something is missing.
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:52 PM   #67
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Well...in my experience, it’s the physical book store that’s limited compared to what’s online. However, the rest I agree with. Not that one is better or worse....but that there are enjoyable experiences about being in a book store gives that aren’t found online.
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Old 02-08-2020, 05:05 PM   #68
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(I got slowed down, but I wanted to write the following much earlier.)

I can propose that something which is missing is a sort of an IKEA model. (I do not intend to promote the brand - I need to highlight the clever completeness, freedom and benefits of a system it uses.)

IKEA covers a complete range of exploration facilities. It offers catalogues; you can explore items it sells online and you may order them online and have them shipped.

At the same time, they have warehouses you can visit, and check the items directly: touch, see, browse, check, compare, look around, take your time, possibly buy. And those warehouses are pretty complete, maybe showing 99-ish percent of the catalogue. And organized twice (stretching the metaphor a bit) - thematically (living, kitchen etc.) on some floors and by storage order (series_AAA-code001 etc.) on some other floors; so: "by topic" here and "by series" there, by room display here and by shelf there, open here and compact there.

And it would not matter if you then bought online afterwards: to check the items is part of their promotion.

Some intelligent variation of the same model* may be missed about books. There are reasons to have their catalogue available online, to have them purchasable electronically, to have them in an electronic format, and there are reasons to have places where to find their complete (or almost complete) offer reflected physically. And in fact, some businesses work similarly.

*(Of course, the parallel of the two worlds of furniture and books is not strict and dumb, 1:1. For example, IKEA diffuses music in the warehouses, which is a focus-limiting Gruen transfer trick. That would be criminal or abysmally ignorant in a bookstore - where focus is highly relevant. And of course the furniture has to be finally physical - but this is not relevant to the promotional model and the freedom and possibilities offered to the customer; books just happen to be available in more forms.)

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Old 02-15-2020, 01:00 AM   #69
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bookstores aren't going to have everything but neither does amazon either or sites online for that matter. i still buy books and have hundreds of books in all counting all my paperbacks and hardbacks as well. i dunno how many as i've never counted them.

it also depends on where you go as well. there was a bookstore around here that's been gone for years called Bookseller and it's been gone sadly since like the early 2000 i want to say and man do i miss it, they had a really good collection but they didn't have everything no store does i don't think
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:04 PM   #70
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I have been checking out YouTube's "walking around" in Japan as it was interesting & nice "time killer".
On 1 episode, I saw around 6 or 7 bookstores (used?) in a block, one after another; the next block had more bookstores with a grocery store sometimes in-between. Don't know how small the bookstores are as only saw the storefronts with shelves of many books.

Then encountered an episode featuring a "Kanda (sp?) book festival". Could have been the same stores previously seen but in this case even the sidewalks had shelves of books. AND people were looking/browsing the various bookshelves/cases.

As I saw in Tokyo & other cities, the people seem to walk around holding smartphones & some were looking at the devices all the time; or talking on the phone which is surprising as there were lots of phone booths, still; encased in 4 sided glass & the booths had a small shelf for writing notes or whatever. An anomaly.

Wonder if there are still many bookstores in other countries or even phone booths still in good operating condition. I consider that Japan is a very "hi-tech" country but still having so many bookstores just boggles my mind where people are still reading printed books & buying them. But they still have unvandalized phone booths.
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:52 PM   #71
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I consider that Japan is a very "hi-tech" country but still having so many bookstores just boggles my mind where people are still reading printed books & buying them. But they still have unvandalized phone booths.
Japan's not as high tech as you might think. I was there for three weeks last year and traveled all over, from Tokyo to Sapporo to Kyoto and Nagoya. Wi-fi is scarce and for most places, cash is king. Debit cards are not common. I still have something like $40 worth of yen in my bag.

I did go to a couple of Japanese book stores. Neat to browse, though of course I couldn't read a thing. I remember Stephen King's It was divided into three books. Their books looked very nice, what we would call a mass market paperback still comes with a dust jacket.

Here's one of the covers I remember seeing for It.
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:46 PM   #72
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bookstores aren't going to have everything ... no store does i don't think
That - to have physical copies of all publications in a store - is impossible. That was never meant, because that would be an unrealistic demand. If the the Library of Congress in Washington has 25 million books, and that is not "all of them", how can city stores even approach that?

The point is to strive for completeness - the vastest majority of shops have too poor a collection. A million is unhoped for, but ten thousand is acceptable only on a clever selection - the (almost) complete work from one or two publishers, or the maniacal coverage of one or two topics etc. Not ten thousand as in "You are looking for Orwell, sorry I do not have it but I can sell you Huxley" (and I have witnessed much worse than that. I have actually witnessed a «I would like to buy a copy of the I-Ching». The clerk turns to me and goes «And to think I have so many good cook books, why did that customer need to be so stiff on her interests...». He was apparently serious on the idea that people "come and pick" - wandering "customers" without a direction which are there to be attracted by random objects).

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Old 02-22-2020, 06:15 PM   #73
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I consider that Japan is a very "hi-tech" country but still having so many bookstores just boggles my mind where people are still reading printed books & buying them
What is so strange: electronics cannot replace paper. It completes it, and only partially.
People do not buy paper after a reason that they cannot buy bytes. The experience is not the same, nor are the pros and cons.

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Japan's not as high tech as you might think. ... Wi-fi is scarce and for most places, cash is king. Debit cards are not common
But again, you could pay with cards, I bet, in case you wanted to? That is "Hi-tech". It is not "advanced" to jump on a technological bandwagon "just because it's there", as I am seeing in the - clearly decaying to a fall - western world.
Those two points - containment of unrequired pollution and privacy as a default - indicate "civilized" to me.

Japan is, according to the 2016 OECD report about literacy, the current pinnacle of the distribution of intellectual skills - and well higher than second-placed Scandinavian - Benelux countries. They probably have, in general, an idea of what they are doing.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:31 PM   #74
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I don't find that so strange, I mean, look at the resurgence of vinyl records in recent years.

Also, I think Japan also has a higher proportion of older people who are perhaps less tech savvy than some countries?

EDIT: Ironically, a lot of the benefits of eBooks would help older people more such as variable text size.
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:19 AM   #75
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I don't find that so strange, I mean, look at the resurgence of vinyl records in recent years.

Also, I think Japan also has a higher proportion of older people who are perhaps less tech savvy than some countries?

EDIT: Ironically, a lot of the benefits of eBooks would help older people more such as variable text size.
Binaryhermit, I do not just use technology, I create it. I turn and scream to the technology, "Catch up, will you!". And, I buy paper. I use paper when it is proper and I use other media when proper. (And it may be relevant that I have been quite focused on writing software for reading, in the past and lately, and it is for my own use, and I use it and update it daily and frequently. It has lots of font tricks. Still. I do not eat on the Internet.)

The marriage of Japan with hi-tech, the cultural ease, was already there when those old people were young or mature. I am sure most of them are also capable of going electronic and enlarge their fonts, when they so wish or require. Since I mentioned the high literacy recorded in Japan, one can suspect, also for historical reasons, that it should be higher for the younger generations than for that of the eldest - illiteracy in Japan is in fact the lowest for the "late twenties" but it doubles approaching the "sixties" and triples after that, reaching around 20%-25% in the "eighties and over". So, the distribution of of reading habits in such aging population is probably mitigated - the "tech un-savy" for reasons of age were probably less concerned in the first place.

That parallel between paper and vinyl has some correct and telling aspects. You should not just consider the item (the design quality, the ownership, the experience), but also the experience of the vinyl records shops (the browsing and sieving, the collection etc.).
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How long did it take before you bought your first book andre66 General Discussions 27 10-04-2010 05:44 PM
Help-I just bought another book! Sydney's Mom General Discussions 16 03-06-2010 08:11 AM


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