Powell’s Books in Portland recently ventured into selling its own brand of e-reader. Last year, Powell’s laid off employees, acknowledging at the time that it was losing sales to the digital book industry.The bookstore is hoping the e-reader will give business a boost this holiday season.
Book sales took a hit along with other businesses during the recession, but Powell’s New Book Purchasing Supervisor Gerry Donaghy says things are starting to look up. He says across the industry, hard copy and paperback books are more popular than e-readers, but he adds that customers are starting to pay more attention to the new product.
“People are coming to the store, they are buying books. We’re selling the Kobo e-reader and the interest has been very high. It’s been very rewarding seeing customers come in and see our display and on one hand be curious and then on the other hand say of course this makes sense, that’s where the industry is moving” Donaghy said.
Donaghy says unlike Amazon’s Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook, the user of a Kobo is not limited to buying books from one specific vendor.