Friday, August 28, 2009

Middletown Book Shop

This place (11804 Shelbyville Road, #106) has had a long history of rotating inhabitants. In my recent memory, it lasted the longest as the Middletown Book Shop, which was pretty mediocre as used-paperback places go - it relied primarily on romance novels.

Although it's true that romance novels are among the most popular genre for that rapidly diminishing sector of the population who actually still read, it's also an extremely disposable genre - I know of many middle-aged to elderly women who buy their used romance novels at places like this by the bagful, then throw them away when they're done reading them, not even bothering to take advantage of the trade-in policy these sort of places offer. For many, it's just not worth the trouble of saving the books until they're all read and having them clutter up the house in the meantime, just to save a few coins by shlepping them back down to the used bookstore.

Therefore, having a used bookstore that focuses on romance and other similarly disposable popular genres of the masses is a recipe for failure. Used paperbacks in general are already so cheap, it's practically like giving them away, so I can't imagine how or why anyone would see a good business angle in opening such a place - even back when the economy wasn't collapsing. Anyway, end of business lecture.

Before the bookshop, someone had some sort of adult educational assistance place in here, I think. Can't recall exactly what the deal was with that. And after the bookshop, it had a brief run as a place that sold, as the window still says, "Air Brush Tattoos" (groan), "Air Brush Tanning" (double groan) and "Made T-shirts and hats" (as opposed to, uh, unmade ones?)

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