The first day I came to Future Bookshop, it was quiet and cold. I snuggled down into a bean-bag, glad for somewhere so comfortable to kick back and write. I was surrounded by people I know, working on projects I know about. I felt well and truly embraced in a creative womb.
I came down to the Future Bookshop on Saturday night to try and get some serious writing done. And the really awful weather means that I can sit in this big, glass space and look at the outside and be glad I’m not out there. I was expecting the same quiet space that I’d chilled out in during the week, but when I walked in there were about fifteen people between the ages of fifteen and sixty-five. This troupe had with them a guitar, and they all sat very close together. Occasionally two or three would break off and come sit at the table with me, and brainstorm. I gave little smiles to them, but nobody smiled back or introduced themselves. They were all happy enough doing their brainstorming.
This circus-creativity was big and interesting, and it made me think – is this the future of the bookshop? If content is all moving online, does the space of the bookshop become a place where people meet to discuss that content? Or to plan it? Does bouncing ideas work as affectively online, or is face-to-face still the best way to do it?
Megan‘s writing a blog post, and asking us for input. It’s nice to be able to contribute in real-time, without having to wait between emails or inboxes. It’s nice to be able to connect with a blogger, but not via their comment section. In Future Bookshop, Real Life and blogosphere mingle.
There are lots of children walking through the space – we’re next to the Kids’ Corner here – and looking around in wonder. I can’t imagine what the QR code wall looks like to a child – I’m supposing something like one of those Magic Eye puzzles made up of colours and patches of pattern.
The work wall keeps growing every time I’m here. It now contains a choose-your-own-adventure comic, blog posts, an interactive fiction gaming map and the beginnings of a discussion of self-publishing.
The Future Bookshop is an ever-changing beast, Bookshop 2.0, where the people inside it shape its content. Just like the digital space.