Indies sign up for digital Christmas

Twenty-two independent bookshops have signed up to stock Kobo’s e-reader range, with delivery of the devices expected as the festive shopping season begins.  

Kobo pitched its devices and affiliates scheme at the Booksellers Association’s a.g.m. in July. Chipping Norton’s Jaffe & Neale Books & Café, run by Booksellers Association president Patrick Neale, and The Bookcase in Lowdham, run by former president Jane Streeter, are among those planning to stock the devices.

Streeter said: “I’ve only ordered five so we’re not going mad, it is quite a big investment. It feels like a really important step to take; it is positive that we are going to continue to show ourselves to be relevant.”

She said they will be displayed in a unit close to the till, and the shop’s private Christmas shopping evenings will be an “opportunity to show them off”. 

John Baker, co-owner of Chapter One in Reading, Berkshire, who had ordered Kobos, said he thought the Kobo devices would “make more impact” in store than other available options.

Judith Charlesworth of Caxton Books in Frinton on Sea, Essex, said: “E-reading is obviously going to be a thing of the future. I think it can definitely work alongside selling physical books.”

The other UK indies taking the e-readers so far are David’s Bookshop in Letchworth; Christian Books in Dunstable; Bailey Hill Bookshop in Castle Cary; Perivale Christian Centre in Greenford; Bookends in Carlisle; Booka in Oswestry; Shoemakers in Newbury; Mabecron Books in Plymouth; Dulwich Books in London; Yorkshire Books in Richmond, North Yorkshire; Heath Christian Bookshop in Heath, Cardiff; Warwick Book and Kenilworth Books in Warwickshire; Large Print Bookshop in Royston; and Swan Books in Upminster. In Ireland, both Sivota and Campus Bookshop in Dublin, and Crannog Bookshop in Cavan, are stocking the devices.

Meanwhile, Kobo UK country manager Phil Wood has left the company, with the Canadian group’s executive vice-president and general manager Wayne White taking over his role.