I value expediency. The idea of finding everything I want in one store and getting in and out quickly ... love that. But there are times when I am not that shopper. When a purchase really matters to me, then I want more.
Then I want intimate.
Books matter to me.
McNally Jackson Books in SOHO, New York is my favorite bookstore. It is not because they offer the best selection (let's face it, Amazon wins that race).
When I enter McNally Jackson Books, I am guaranteed an experience. An intimate experience. The entire store is designed to cater to people like me, people who enjoy books, love literature delight in exploring and finding that next gem to read.
There is a great, comfortable reading room downstairs. (no wifi in this store)
The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.
Picking up the books and flipping through them is not frowned upon.
They print self-published authors with a printing machine on demand (I publish my books at McNally Jackson; they publish over 700 self-published books each month)
There is an intimate cafe where you can read your latest purchase or wait as the book that you just purchased is printed.
People mill about this store. Pick up a book, flip through it, move on to the next book; they talk amongst themselves, sharing recommendations.
Every time I stay in SOHO, I stop at McNally Jackson Books. I don't always buy something (usually I do!) but its an experience I relish. The owner, Sarah McNally, decided to leverage a passion and to do so by giving people an intimate experience that is difficult to replicate. Her store reflects her philosophy:
I believe that within every great reader there are multitudes of people...and you have to open yourself to all of them. I love British chick lit and I love Proust. Don't judge yourself! There are so many kinds of writing that are great but bear no relation to each other. A Book of Memories by Peter Nadas is like climbing a mountain. Cutting for Stone is like going down a waterside...Book-buying is aspirational...they are deeply hopeful purchases.
That is where I like to go, to browse, to read, to buy. Reading matters to me.