General Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Can a private citizen start their own for profit lending library?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (11489points) 1 month ago

Without having a masters degree in library science? Do you need a permit to run an used bookstore?

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10 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

You don’t need a degree to open a store. You do need some other things, such as a business license, a business plan, and funding.

But if you’re talking about “for profit,” it’s not lending—it’s renting. And if it’s a store, it’s not a library at all.

It might be a good idea first to look for a part-time job in a store like that near you, or volunteer in a nonprofit used-goods outlet, to see how you like the work.

(Also you can have a master’s or other degree and still be a private citizen.)

johnpowell's avatar

There are two businesses I would never start. The first is a restaurant. The second is a bookstore. You are pretty much guaranteed to fail.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@johnpowell Thanks for the warning. It was just a passing idea that I had.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Sure, anyone can do that, The question is: will anyone pay for it?

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t see why not.

Used book stores often will buy and sell books, so you can return a book and get some money back, but your idea is a little different.

I vaguely remember a bookstore in an airport that you could “borrow” the book for a price. I don’t know if it still exists now with all these electronic reading devices.

My dad sells used books, and that business has declined quite a bit in the last 15 years. There are some books that will never be put in any sort of ebooks, and those still sell for a lot of money.

Anyway, people who sell books online like my dad, they could feasibly have a store as their storage center for online and rent books and sell them from the store front too. Sell some coffee in there, and probably you make more on the coffee.

flutherother's avatar

The reason no one has done it is because of the expense of purchasing and maintaining a decent stock of books and the difficulty of ensuring your borrowers return books that they borrow. You would probably also be competing with an existing public library service.

JLeslie's avatar

^^The customer has to front the money, and then get money back when the book is returned I think.

flutherother's avatar

That would mske sense.

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