Print material is a thing of the past, a dying dinosaur! Have you heard that yet? It was presented as a statement of fact at a meeting I recently attended. Big city newspapers are shutting down. Magazines are opting for online editions instead of print you can touch, so to speak. We can read books online too.
In Woodward Oklahoma Charlynn Fowler doesn’t agree. She runs Pixie Dreams Bookstore and sells used books. Almost two years ago she bought a building that was packed full of paperback and hardcover books, most in cardboard boxes. She has turned that into a neatly arranged store full of shelves with books sorted by author and sectioned by topic or area of interest.
Her customers come from two places; walk-in traffic and sales through Amazon on the internet. The times I have been in her store, there is almost always someone browsing the shelves for a book to take home and read. She offers a pretty unique exchange program where readers can bring back the books they have read and get credit towards the next purchase. This has proven to be a resourceful way to keep a dedicated customer base at store front level.
Based on customer feedback, Charlynn’s expansion plans include a dedicated reading area with coffee and tea available for customers who want to spend some browsing time in the store. She has customers from several neighboring towns up to 75 miles away driving in to get a good deal on a book or to get something that is hard to find in regular retail outlet stores.
Charlynn found some rare editions and treasurers as she sorted through the boxes and found the internet the best market for the collector editions. Of course she gets multiple copies of some books. She has a “5 book” rule and then has found an outlet for excess inventory that provides reading material to troops overseas.
Pixie Dreams Bookstore found the niche and filled the need in Woodward and area northwest Oklahoma. I personally like to sit with a real book in hand for some quiet time to read and it appears I am not alone.
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Ari Herzog says
I’m curious how many Pixie customers–or families of the customers–own Kindles, in addition to wanting books. Or if they also enjoy the tactile sensation of flipping pages of a newspaper.
There is a used bookstore like Pixie around the corner from me, too. There’s always at least one person there.
Becky McCray says
Ari, I don’t know. There are not very many Kindles locally. I do know one person in my circle of local acquaintances who has one. She’s a librarian, too. :)
I really think that the Kindle is a great idea. It is a fairly expensive product though. Also, the transition is going to take time. It will be the kids in High School and college who begin really using the Kindle-type products as a replacement for paper books. Once they have grown older it will then be mainstream. I don’t believe that many in the older generations will ever switch over to electronic media products.
BTW ~ Used book stores are a great idea. As long as the books are in good condition they read exactly the same. We have a few Half-Priced Bookstores in KC that allow you to buy used books and to sell back old books. Great concept.
Jeremy @ RefocusingTechnology.com
Becky McCray says
Thanks, Jeremy. I think Charlynn has done a great job of making an old building full of boxed books into a thriving business, with plans to expand. Love this story!
Makes me wanna visit Charlynn’s shop!