I have now read more pages from Exepose, week Twenty Two (19th March). I can see why the idea of a university without a bookshop might be thought of as attractive.
On the Books page there is a "diary of a gamer turned reader". Jess Leung explains that reading fiction stopped with the last Harry Potter. "libraries have become associated with looming deadlines, all nighters and vending machines. Books have become a chore." Even a Kindle was left to gather dust. But then on a chance train journey a novel filled a gap in attention and there is now a plan to check out 100 novels. More in a blog but the link may not be working. What strikes me is that the library and the course book don't come out of this well. Maybe they survive anyway.
Robert Harris describes the decline of Game Group as shops in an age of downloads but is not much surprised. He admits "there will always be people who want to turn a page, hold a box and own a disc." But the main conclusion is that "we may well see the entire high street evaporate and retreat to the cloud." So a centre to the university with shops holding stock might seem strange.
By the way, Cyan Turan covers a lot of reasons why Exeter can compensate for being a small county town by having some of the same chain shops as big cities but rather spoils it with a comment about House of Fraser maybe getting a MAC concession. There is no mention for the Apple shop or the Virgin Media retail spot. Or the shops for mobile phones. There is a basis for something. We don't yet know what will be on campus instead of a bookshop.
There may be more views on shops and books in future editions.