Most traditional bookstores opened for one purpose to sell books.  However, present-day owners know that readers want more than to drop in, find a book, buy it, and leave.  Today’s patrons want to browse, to wander among the various shelves and tables, and to sample the wares.  And they want more than books.  Therefore, large bookstores across the United States now cater to the many desires of their diverse clientele. Of course these bookstores do stock books.  As customers enter, they find tables and shelves of the latest fiction and nonfiction.  Small islands offer a large variety of classic and not-so-classic book “bargains.”  As browsers roam the store, they find sections on history, business, science, sports, foreign language, computers, and much, much more.  They pass collections of classic literature in English and in Russian, Italian, Hebrew, Swahili.  Parents find impressive collections of children’s books.  In brief, “new” bookstores stock books to satisfy the various tastes of almost anyone who comes to browse. But browsers want more than books.  Therefore, these stores stock a large variety of newspapers and magazines.  These periodicals reflect the variety of interests of our diverse population.  The newspapers carry news from cities across the United States and from capitals in Europe, South America, and Africa.  In addition to news and culture, the racks feature magazines about cars, animals, fitness, foods, even dolls. Browsers want to pull books and magazines off the shelves and read them right there and then.  To facilitate reading, these bookstores provide creature comforts.  Excellent lighting, for example, allows patrons to read anywhere in the store.  Wide aisles with easy chairs let the patron relax and read or even snooze.  Tables and chairs give the student writing a research paper a solid writing surface and room to spread books, magazines, and newspapers. No pushy salesperson bothers any patron.  Rather, courteous, well-informed store clerks stationed at a central “resource island” eagerly answer questions.  Also, by using their computers, they can tell a customer whether the store has a copy of a particular book or whether that book is still available.  Upon request they can and will order any book. Finally, hungry, thirsty, or exhausted book lovers or patrons who meet friends or new acquaintances as they browse can relax and enjoy the small café that serves a variety of cakes or bagels or sweet rolls and several kinds of coffee, tea, and soft drinks.  The cafe tables allow clientele to eat quietly or to eat and read or to eat and chat. Conversations in the café might be in English about soccer or Paris or anything else, but they might instead be in Spanish, French, Japanese, or one of numerous other foreign tongues.  It is likely that part of any conversation will include praise for the nontraditional bookstore for serving the myriad wants and even fancies of the diverse public who come to browse and, perhaps, to buy.

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