Showing posts from March 24, 2006

Comment: To Compute Or Not To Compute

What part should a computer system play in the life of a good bookstore? I know this probably seems like a non-question in this digital age, especially for those of you who are net-surfers enough to be reading this. But you might be surprised how many good bookstores have answered "none." And I believe there are better and worse ways to utilize the electronic box in a store full of print. (Warning: this post is kind of wonky, so if you're not especially interested in the internal workings of bookstores, feel free to skip it.) I know of some bookstores that are so small, and run by such a stable and careful staff, that they consider a computerized inventory unnecessary. And to some degree, they're right. If your stock is small enough, and your staff is good enough, why do you need an electronic record of what you've bought and sold, how long it's been around and what kind of discount you got? If you have a relationship with most of the regulars who come in