The bookseller I have chosen for this issue of ILLUSTRATI is a young guy: Pietro Bossi, to show that experience is not
the only element that can shape the future of the book market.
I’m not going to tell you the story of Italian bookshops in the last fifty years, but I can give you some hints about what they
Pietro Bossi opened his bookshop less than one year ago – in May 2012 – and managed to create a corner of paradise for book lovers who, ignored by big chains and prestigious bookshops, can get the object of their desires only through the Internet, and have to make do with buying it just by having a look at the cover or, at best, at a few inner pages.
A small specialized bookshop whose shelves are always on the move, with new interesting proposals that show how much time he spends trying to find out what the Italian and foreign markets offer.
Photography, Illustration, Contemporary Art, Fanzines.
The books are arranged so that people see them immediately as they enter the shop. People are unavoidably attracted by the books and can’t help stretching out their arms and take them and leaf through them.
Pietro looks for books ONLY in catalogues that he happens to stumble upon, he spends hours browsing the Internet for topics, artists and publishers, he listens to his customers and then makes his choices just by relying on his taste and criteria. That’s his secret. This is a crucial element for any business, but can hardly be found elsewhere, but here you can feel it, see it, leaf through it!
Another crucial element is personality. Pietro, his world and his vision of it spread through the square meters of the shop. However, by looking at his customers, one can assume that he is not a crazy ego-eccentric. His bookshop perfectly satisfies a market share that is now neglected by Italian bookshops, but above all he applies the old sales techniques typical of small shops, where customers are greeted with a smile and listened to in order to discover and grant their wishes.
Pietro also improvises exhibitions of young contemporary artists. A visit to his bookshop is always something new, a little 360 degrees journey in the world of senses.
You only need to reach via Carlo Tenca 10, in Milan, a short walk from the central station, go down the stairs that anticipate the shop with a beautiful neon sign and get lost in JUST 30 SQUARE METRES OF VYNILS and BOOKS and ART!
Then we walked down a street and he showed me a clothes shop. “What a nice shop” he told me “no, I am not interested in clothes, I like the shop” and in his eyes and on the smile that surfaced on his lips I could see that he dreams of owning a bigger bookshop one day, a shop full of light, with more books and a beautiful window facing the street.
He’s gonna make it, for sure.