Bill's Blog

Buying Books at Your Neighborhood Drugstore

Nov 22, 2013

In my November 2012 post called The Brave New World of Book Publishing, I waxed nostalgic about browsing the paperback racks at the local grocery store when I was a kid. The point of that post was that more and more people are making their book-buying decisions online and downloading their selections as eBooks. Those of us who would rather read our books from the actual printed page rather than an electronic gizmo are steadily losing ground in our book-browsing options. Many local bookstores have closed their doors, and other booksellers like supermarkets and drugstores are devoting less space to book racks.

Bartell Drugs in Seattle is definitely bucking that trend. Soon they’ll have a selection of more than seven million titles. That isn’t a typo. Within a few months you’ll be able to walk into Bartell Drugs, browse through more than seven million titles, and walk out with a new book tucked under your arm.

How can a drugstore have room for so many books? Easy: It’s an electronic book rack, but it prints real books using print-on-demand technology. No, I’m not making this up. You find the book you want, push a button, and the book is printed and bound right there in front of you. Read more here:

Questions about this topic? Call me at (505) 401-1021 or send me an email at I’m in my office most weekdays from 9 to 5.

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