Sunday, 3 March 2013

How Do You Buy Books?

BBC Radio 4 presenter, Mariella Frostrup's programme, Open Book, last Thursday, featured an interview with Neill Denny. He is a journalist and ex-editor of the Bookseller and he talks about the secret of the success of High Street shop W H Smiths. Readers in the UK will know that the store supplies books (usually from the 'Best Seller' range)  and has not suffered since the sad demise of book shops in the UK. Whilst the sale of eBooks and Amazon book sales do fairly well, considering the economy, W H Smiths is not losing sales.

Image for Instructions for a Heatwave; obesity in the contemporary novel
                                      To Listen to Interview go to BBC Radio 4 Listen Again

It put me in mind of a conversation I had with a writer friend of mine. She introduced me to an independent book seller who is happy to host a book signing for me at his shop when the time comes. My book will be published later this year and I wondered how this shop would fair under the current book shop closure crisis.
Another conversation I had with friends recently got round to the subject of whether we still buy books in their printed state or do we only ever download ebooks. Interestingly, like me, a lot of my friends like to hold a real book in our hands. And not only that, a few of them like the idea of browsing bookshops and not necessarily browsing lists on Amazon for example. I must admit I do a bit of both but it made me wonder about statistics on how we prefer to buy books on a nationwide or even world wide scale. So far I haven't come across any solid figures and I would love to have published them here if I could.
More importantly how will we continue to buy books? I would hate to think that people would stop buying books (printed versions) altogether one day. That would be sad and I'm sure it won't happen in my lifetime.
I don't know what the future will bring but I know I'll always write and, hopefully, sell my books no matter how. I've got to keep moving with the times but there's nothing like curling up with a good book!
If you know of any stats or figures regarding this, please share them. I'd love to know more.
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