Inside the writer’s mind #285: One Book, No Choice

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Imagine a bookshop where only one book is sold. In Japan that is a reality. Yoshiyuki Moriaka sells only one title per week. (See Article here.) I assume he has more than one copy of that book to sell – but even so that seems an extreme business model, like a ice cream shop selling only vanilla. He gives his customers no choice. It seems like a crazy idea until you think about what happens when you go into a normal bookshop.

I often browse for an hour or more trying to select a few new books from the thousands on display – but the sheer amount of choice gives me a headache. I can’t choose. I like so many genres that I struggle to pick anything.

I normally end up picking something on sale by a writer I already trust, which defeats the whole purpose of having a good browse. Browsing wastes a lot of time when all I really want is one really good book at a time.

It would save so much time and effort if the bookshop owner had done the hard work of choosing one great book for all customers. Then the only choice for the customer would be to accept his recommendation or reject it. It would require the owner to have chosen wisely – if he wanted to have repeat customers. Just one bad book would ruin his reputation and harm his business.

I hope Yoshiyuki Moriaka has luck making his idea work.

But I wouldn’t pitch it on Dragons’ Den.


Author: John Moralee

John Moralee writes crime, horror and science fiction.

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