Every person who ever spent a happy few hours poring over promising titles, opening them up to sample the contents, and piling up new finds with a thrill of anticipation has probably looked with sadness at the bookstore landscape these past few years. Up to 75% of independent bookstores have closed up shop, and now even major retailers are following suit. Are bookstores going the way of the wagon wheel? In our increasingly digital age, is there still a bricks-and-mortar place for books?
We think there is.
Online retailers are definitely able to deliver a highly efficient book shopping experience. But despite their efforts, they haven't been able to recreate the delightful feeling of finding a book you didn't know you were looking for. Of picking up a prospect and settling into a comfortable chair to test drive the first chapter. Of getting personal recommendations based on what you're looking for (not necessarily what you've gotten in the past). Of hearing the creator of a favorite book reading their own words in their own voice and explaining their creative process. Online retailers deliver books. But physical bookstores deliver the love of books. We think that passion is worth honoring and preserving.
The Kepler's 2020 team aims to build a completely new business model for independent bookstores-- starting with Kepler's. Over the next few months we will be fleshing out our vision of a community-owned retail operation working alongside a community-focused nonprofit that will bring an even deeper roster of events, talks, and gatherings to the mid-Peninsula region. We will be keeping you updated here on our blog as well as through our Facebook page and Twitter feed. We hope that you'll follow along and share your thoughts and feelings as we undertake this important journey.