thumbnail of google book search suggestionsSay, do you remember bookstores? You know, those places that you used to go to when you were in high school to drink overpriced coffee and leaf through things that you were never ever ever going to buy? Sure, maybe they didn't have exactly what you were looking for on the shelves; but that was OK because they didn't really mind if you just hung out, made a huge mess and didn't spend any money.

These days, neither of the big two chain bookstores are doing very well, but that's probably just because they have less selection and higher prices than the online book market, and a business model that encourages customers to treat their stores as though they were the living room of a particularly disliked relative. But that's OK. Brick and mortar bookstores have something that ensures that they'll be around forever: people who will listen to your horrible questions.

Imagine, if you will, the average bookstore customer trying to find an item online.

the customer has
difficulties locating the item in question

Of course, if they were able to actually find the item they were looking for, they would be faced with a whole host of new problems when they tried to order it. Consider the following scenario.

the customer was
loathe to reveal his address

So until modern technology is able to translate the incoherent ramblings of a paranoid, drunken septuagenarian into a usable set of instructions, bookstores will always control a portion of the market. So take THAT, internet.