Select, Display, and Sell: Curation practices in the bookshop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bookshops are one of the most visible places for books in public space. No bookshop can ever offer every book available; rather it is in its selection that each bookshop is unique. Value, writes Michael Bhaskar in Curation (2016), no longer resides in access, but in curation—in selecting and arranging. The article argues that curating practices in bookshops can be mapped from four main aspects: space, selection, display, and experience. In order to understand the day-to-day practices in a bookshop, and the different form of curation that takes place, an ethnographic observation study was performed. The results in this study point to the bookshop being a place where more than books are sold: there is also selling the experience and sensation of being in a bookshop. In the borderlands of culture and commerce, bookshops are important curators of books.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18–31
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Humanities not elsewhere specified


  • literary value
  • book sales
  • curation
  • bookshops


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