I love reading but the lack of physical bookstores nowadays made the simple act of browsing difficult. Although it is true that I could buy almost all books online for a much cheaper pricepoint, something is still missing. Shopping online is quick, convenient, and purpose-driven but the simple pleasure I get from browsing and pure discovery cannot be fulfilled, especially when it comes to books I would say.
This is my great experience in London, Part II. Staying in Covent Garden, I might be biased but I noticed more bookstores in London than in New York. Aside from having the leisure to browse in different bookstores, I wanna talk about my experience with Tate Modern Museum’s bookstore.
Maybe it’s from my past profession where I used to curate merchandise for museum souvenir stores, visiting gift shops and bookstores in a museum is always a must for me, wherever I go in the world. This time, I was at the Tate Modern Museum and I must say the way they curate their museum was so so to me but the bookstore was an interesting playing ground to me. Very often, museum bookstores have a lot of interesting products, it is curates almost like a mini gallery within the museum itself. The Tate Modern one however, was very different. It was carefully designed based on business decisions (at least I assume it was).
If you’ve ever been to Sephora, you would know Sephora’s checkout line is design for customers to easily pick up small travel samples packs from different brands. No matter how discipline you are, most girls I know would pick up one or two small things here and there when they’re waiting in line to check out. Tate Modern has a similar checkout line which I have never seen in other museum bookstores. Most places would only have these types of merchandise right at the cashier but Tate modern extended its merchandise curations beyond the cash register touchpoint. In addition to the checkout, the way they organize their books is also very revolutionary. There is a huge section of books where a book would be featured based on its topic and the display would say “if you’ve read this already, you could read this next” where you’ll be directed to 4 others similar books within the same genre.
Again simply design, right? It made the browsing experience so much better. In fact, I picked up quite a few books just because the display clearly directed me to explore similar books that I already liked.