Bookstores as Centers for Lifelong Learning

It’s a big, broad universe with the richness of cultures, ideas, opinions, and discoveries. In a bookstore, that’s the energy you feel by coming in, looking around, browsing and finding books to take home, and attending a presentation. It’s a fascinating world!

The opportunities to open a bookstore that is sustainable requires going beyond “selling books” to creating a place for those who love reading and love learning.

Let’s think of the bookstore as a fun, comfortable, friendly atmosphere for those who embrace life and want to keep learning throughout life… those lovers of travel and other cultures, creative and beautiful use of language, good food, loving relationships, healthy minds and bodies, lessons from history. Where can you find all of those things? In a bookstore.

Lifelong learners will come into the bookstore more often when we offer opportunities to connect and learn from others.

Lifelong learners will come into the bookstore more often when we offer opportunities to connect and learn from others.

In the selection we create, but also in the programs that bring people together to learn and grow, the possibilities are endless. Non-profit organizations, educational institutions, medical facilities, health and wellness centers all employ people who know and can share so much. Individuals who are crazy about a hobby, those history buffs, someone who has fallen in love with learning about the night sky … all can be wonderful non-author presenters who bring people into the store based on the desire to learn something new.

This quote from Einstein, featured in “The Age of Outrospection” in today’s issue of DailyGood in the graphic to the right, reminds us that there’s so much to learn in this vast world.

“A human being is part of the whole called by us ‘Universe’ — a part limited in time and space. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creates and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Programs in bookstores can be … and should be … so much more than an author reading. Think of all of the things your customers are interested in and find reasons for them to gather in the bookstore to connect on a common interest or concern.

Helping make meaningful connections is one of the most important opportunities for any bookseller and is often the difference between the bookstores that struggle trying to sell books and those who thrive because they have created … and become a community treasure for being … ann important center of the community. A bricks-and-mortar bookstore is the perfectly friendly, accessible place for every person at any age to widen our circle, learn new things, and feel part of an amazing universe.