Thursday, November 19, 2009


The Noose Son reports that both bookstores at the Springfield Upper Valley Mall are closing. One wonders if one might have been viable on it's own. The stores are typical mall fare, B. Dalton & Waldeenbooks. They offered pretty much the same products & nothing you couldn't buy online & have dropped off on your doorstep. Shopping for books online also gives you the chance to read reviews by other readers instead of pestering other shoppers at the store. The bookstores need to offer something extra.
The original Springfield bookstore was a place called Readmore. They had a large old store on the central block of a pretty much one block downtown. It was on the north east corner of Limestone & High. What I really remember was their magazine selection. They eventually branched out and had a series of stores throughout the city. This is where the store got interesting. Their book selection was paperbacks only. However they also carried, magazines, newspapers, school art supplies, springfield collectible memorabilia (clothing, plates, spoons, banners, postcards), comic books, pipes, cigarettes, chips, pop, beer, wine and, the best part - pizza & subs.
They had this tomato sauce that was heavy on pepper & lemon. They made subs (heavy on banana pepper) the usual way & then wrapped 'em in foil & cooked 'em in the pizza oven. ~drool~
It might seem like a strange combination of crap but the number of times you found yourself buying a combination of those things was amazing. Readmore was a major missing element for Springfield transplants. Return visits to the Champion city always involved a stop at Readmore. Folks, like me, who emigrated to Hamilton County also noticed another big difference. Porn.
In first amendment challenged Hamilton County one cannot get a pizza, 40 oz malt liquor & a copy of Juggs in one place. Frequently, it takes a couple stops and a trip out of the county or state. Even in Clark county the mall bookstores didn't have much of a porn selection.
Readmores are gone now. A quick interweb search gets some hits. They seem to be ghosts. I remember reading that the family that owned the stores had shelved their tomato sauce recipe. They closed their business more because the family wasn't interested than bad business tho that had declined, too. Thing is - maybe this is what bookstores need. Screw the coffee & pastry & poofy croissant sandwiches. Get down to the basics - porn, paperbacks, pizza & beer. Grab an audience that places like Joseph Beth quake in fear of.
As Amazon increases it's distribution centers they could start delivering pizzas & subs to those vicinities. Maybe this is what the public libraries need to think about to pay their way. I always thought pizza and video rental went hand in hand, but in the days of local video stores, it never seemed to catch on. I can't help but think that, if Drew's (SP ?) had adopted the Readmore business model, it might still be with us today.

1 comment:

geebee said...

Who would've thought at the time that this was a cultural highpoint in America. Today you can't even find an unshaved american girl naked next to Newsweek. What the hell happened?