Websites of bookstores I like

•July 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Lately, I have been reading Marc Auge’s book on non-places, and I thought it might be interesting to look up the websites of some of my favorite bookstores. I was also looking for inspiration for my design for Fujitakaya’s website. Here are some of my favorites.

Boone, NC: quaint shop, quaint page.

Asheville, NC:

Johnson City, TN: One of my favorites, lots of great used books. I like the way that they have incorporated Facebook “likes” into the page, but it is buried at the bottom of the page.

Washington, DC: The shop is much better than the website.

Washignton, DC: I love their events page.

If Olson’s was still in business, I would link to them as well.

All of these places are interesting to think of in terms of Auge’s ideas of non-places and anthropological spaces. They all have some of the facets of anthropological spaces, and I could think of their names immediately. At the same time, their “non-place” websites vary markedly. Some of them sell books online, while others do not. They are also (obviously) located in places near where I have lived. There is a Barnes and Nobel nearly everywhere in the US, but these bookshops are unique to their places.


Ideas for attracting customers

•July 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment


•July 12, 2011 • 1 Comment

Here are some pictures of the front of the bookstore, focusing on some points that I think could use improvement.  These pictures were also taken during the day time, and I realized that I had not added so many that showed the location during the daytime.

Website Design Idea

•July 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The website, which I love, has some short comings. For instance, when you search for a bookstore using the map feature and hover your cursor over one, it displays information that is not the most useful possible. First, hours should be displayed. Second, if the bookstore has a website, it should be linked. That led me to create the following drawing of ideas for how to improve the interface of that map:

I am exploring options for how to make these design suggestions a reality.




Design Ideas 2

•July 11, 2011 • 2 Comments

I like the idea of a mural, so I created some ideas for mystery themed murals.

On the left is a caricature of Edogawa Ranpo, chosen because the owner got into mysteries thanks to Edogawa. Second is Sherlock Holmes.

Doing these designs gave me the inspiration for the following one:

Cats often figure into mystery novels, and I have given him a magnifying glass. That gave me the idea of using him as the top of the easel I mentioned in the last post, or he could also be used on the bookstore’s website or for other promotional material. I want to do another version where he is sitting on a stack of books.

Design Ideas

•July 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Building on the last post, here are some ideas I have for the actual physical space of the bookstore’s storefront.



1. Create a sign that protrudes into the space, making it visible from Hakusan Street and the other connecting road.

2.Create a “display” that also hides the air conditioner. This will allow the owner to display more books outside, and will create a larger display space for posters and notices.

3. Create easel display to lead people into the space.

4. Move the hours notice. Right now, it is a paper taped to the window. Instead, make it into a more permant looking sign and hang it below the “used books” sign.

5. Get a bigger plant.


To the right is another drawing along the lines of the ideas mentioned above. This shows space for a vertical sign. I have also added “Used Books” to the awning, but it could as easily show the name of the bookstore. I had the idea of adding a bench, which could benefit the adjacent restaurant as well.

The drawing to the left is an idea for a piece of furniture to display recommendations. At first, I imagined this in the bookshop itself, but given space constraints within the shop, this could be used to replace the small 100 yen book display.

Update 2: Gathering Ideas Part 2

•July 11, 2011 • 2 Comments

Here are some other design elements I have seen around that have inspired me. There are other examples of small things that can draw the eye and generate interest. These are all ways of catching the eyes of customers, but they are different, ranging from unusual signs to show that they are open for business to a bench for customers to wait to be seated.