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Suggestions for Amazon’s first actual bookstore

How can they hope to compete with Amazon?


David Britton

Internet Culture

Posted on Nov 3, 2015   Updated on May 27, 2021, 5:10 pm CDT

Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore Tuesday in the same mall that used to house a giant Barnes and Noble, which is kind of like… actually, this is a rare case of a situation being its own perfect metaphor.

But what will it be like inside this unexpected shop? Sure, we’ve seen a few pictures, but unless you live in Seattle the best you can really do is guess based on what we already know of the giant online retailer:

  • Entire store is made of cardboard with that big goofy smile on the sides. There are no doors, so you have to cut your way in with a box knife.
  • Bubble wrap carpets only for the first wave of customers. Everyone else is basically just walking on saran wrap.
  • The first few staff reviews of each book are helpful, but halfway down they inexplicably turn into racists arguing with homophobes about Donald Trump’s toupee.  
  • Clerks who swear they have never heard of the New York Times.
  • Scones delivered by drones! (Unnecessary, but cool.)
  • Readings by erotica authors who write books about butts having sex with themselves.
  • When you find something you like, you can put it back on the shelf, go home, and order it for less on Amazon! 

Fun as all this sounds, what would really be great is if, as that first excited customer opens the door, all they see is one bookcase loaded with Kindles and a single employee happily smiling, her middle finger raised in salute.

Photo by David Goehring/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Nov 3, 2015, 4:14 pm CST