New Zealand book stores thrive in digital world

  • News
  • October 29, 2015
  • Elly Strang
New Zealand book stores thrive in digital world
Photo / Booksellers NZ Facebook page

Alongside a rise in book sales volumes, there’s also been a 3.7 percent growth in value, according to Nielsen.

This success isn’t just limited to New Zealand - in the UK, book sales are also up.

The UK’s Nielsen Bookscan reported sales of print books, for the first 36 weeks of 2015, rose by 4.6 percent (£739.5 million) when compared with the same period last year.

Booksellers NZ chair Mary Sangster says there has been some tough times for the book trade in the last few years, but sales are rising again.

 This has created a positive outlook amongst booksellers, she says.

“We’re definitely thriving, rather than just surviving,” Sangster says.

The good news comes just in time for New Zealand’s first ever Bookshop Day on Saturday 31 October, with 180 bookshops across the country to celebrate the occasion.

A variety of activities will take place in the shops – including a Shetland pony available for patting in Wanaka Paper Plus.

“We just thought we’d do something out of the ordinary for NZ Bookshop Day, something you don’t see every day, something to draw in the kids,” says Spud, the shop’s events coordinator.

“We’re putting up a display of horsey books around the pen, as well as having a few shovels around in case of accidents!”

Other activities include author of banned-then-unbanned book Into The River Ted Dawe acting as staff at Auckland’s Time Out Bookshop, a banned books quiz in the University of Canterbury’s bookshop and writers sitting in shop windows reading at The Women’s Bookshop in Ponsonby.

Nationwide, there’s a colouring competition inspired by the adult colouring craze, where contestants can win $500 in book tokens.

NZ Bookshop Day Ambassador Sir Bob Harvey says good bookshops are gems and a treasure for everyone.

“Making friends with bookshop staff means they know what you like, the authors you enjoy and they challenge you to read new works – and I always end up loving those too, and I learn so much! I challenge all Kiwis to get out on Saturday to enjoy their local bookshop events,” Harvey says.

Sangster says it looks like Saturday’s events will be a cracker.

“We encourage all Kiwis to go out and support their local bookshops. Our booksellers have certainly dug deep to create some fun events that will suit readers of all ages,” she says.

For more information about the events going down on Saturday, check out Booksellers NZ’s website.

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