I don’t think it is any secret that my one real ambition is to own my own bookshop. When work isn’t going well (which has happened pretty regularly these last couple of years) I spend an awful lot of time thinking about it. Then again when things are going pretty smoothly like at the moment it isn’t something I dwell on much.
I also have an unhealthy obsession with the Espresso Book Machine and spent many an hour scribbling down ideas of how to combine the two ideas into some cool shop (called From Pixels to Pulp – told you I spent alot of time thinking about it!).
Then as I was trawling through my Google Reader I come across a post from Cory Doctorow about his ideas about the future of bookselling (which he wrote in response to a great post from Clay Shirky on the same topic-ish) and there in black and white is an example of almost exactly what I’d want to do – with a link to a store in the US already doing it and also a load of inspiration for other value added options (I’m especially interested in the idea of doing something special with the covers – maybe creating a little app that pulled in relevant Creative Commons images from Flickr and titles using the Open Font Library so people could personalise their books?). These days you’d almost certainly need some element of online sales to supplement the bricks and mortar side of the business but these days that is a relatively easy task (especially given my friends) and I think there must be a way of building a more useful and attractive search and browse interface on top on the Google Books offering. I’ve always loved what Moo have done and am a fan of what Newspaper Club are trying to do and this seems to sort of fit with all of that.
I think a city like Bristol would embrace something like this especially in the right location and I’d love to see how far the social web could help this sort of undertaking rather than be a hindrance to it.
So I have the inklings of a plan – now all I need is a skip load of money to get hold of an Espresso Book Machine, rent a shot, build a website (including app) and god knows what else. Oh well at least I have a job I like at the moment!