CAMBO needs you

<p>E-books are here to stay&mdash;long live the paper book. With Amazon's Kindle advertised on television like any other mainstream product, paper books are under threat like never before. Books used to sell themselves&mdash;now they need help. <br />
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The Campaign For Real Books may seem an over-reaction but for many independent shops the writing is on the wall. Just a few decades ago the high street was full of record shops. All were killed off by the CD; but not because people particularly wanted CDs. The real reason was far more sinister. The music industry got behind the format and began to limit the supply of vinyl, lower the price of the alternative and generally nudge consumers in the right direction. Ten years later records were dead. <br />
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The same thing could happen to paper books. Books are not sacrosanct and their incredibly long and significant past does not guarantee them a similarly impressive future. The Campaign For Real Books, or CAMBO for short, aims to protect, preserve and promote paper books and to ensure customers still have a choice. CAMBO members will pay &pound;15 a year for a card that entitles them to 10% discount when they spend &pound;10 or more in participating book shops. <br />
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We are currently asking independent shops to sign up (W H Smith, Tesco and Amazon need not apply) but the campaign will support far more of the industry than this visible tip of the book world. Tens of thousands of jobs depend on paper books. Printers, distributors, designers, packagers and more rely on paper for their livelihood. A few decades ago there were warehouses filled with vinyl, and then CDs &ndash; all of them now closed down and the staff laid off. CAMBO will work to make sure this never happens to the book world.<br />
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We will bring together disparate book lovers and unite them behind a single campaign group that will have real influence. We will be quoted every time a bookshop is threatened with closure. We will take every opportunity to make a fuss, make the news and make a difference. To put things in perspective Camra, the well-known body supporting the real ale industry, has 100,000 members and an income of over &pound;2m a year.<br />
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The Campaign For Real Books will launch soon. Mainstream press coverage is sure to be high. We are still approaching independent booksellers, publishers and more to sign up to strengthen our position. Please get in touch via our website, www.campaignforrealbooks.org and help us to help you.<br />
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