Turning the pages...

Blossom Book House is one of the places which doesn’t sell Kindle till now.

Living in a time when technology is playing an enormous role in our daily lives, it came as no surprise to many when e-reader Kindle was blamed for the death of paperbacks just a few years ago. However, paperbackers still continue to charm ardent readers.

Krishna Gowda, proprietor of Bookworm on Church Street, which sells only paperbacks, says, “We haven’t faced any loss in our business because of Kindle, in fact it is growing by 20 percent.”

Asked why he didn’t consider selling Kindle, he says, “My customers are usually old and voracious readers who regularly buy books here. They don’t prefer Kindle and we haven’t got any enquiry about Kindle till date.”

According to the Frankfurt book fair, the Indian publishing industry was witnessing a growth rate of 15 percent annually.

“We would like our customers to feel and touch the books, which is more appealing,” says Mukund, manager of Blossom Book House, another bookstore which doesn’t sell Kindle.

He further adds, “As a publisher, I can say that Kindle is not growing in India. Only frequent travellers prefer buying Kindle as they cannot carry a large number of books. But when it comes to preference, they still like paperbacks.

On the other hand, Higginbothams on MG Road sells Kindle that has Facebook app on it.

“A majority of the people here buy paperbacks as compared to Kindle since they prefer the touch and feel of the book,” says Manthesh, assistant manager of the store.

On asked why they have chosen to sell Kindle regardless of the low-selling rate, he says, “We want to adapt to technology. Usually, people above the age of 20 buy Kindle, whereas those below 20 prefer paperbacks.”

Yogesh, executive of Amazon at Crossword Bookstores says, “Of course paperbacks sell more when compared to Kindle. We sell just one Kindle per day. But we still feel the need to keep it at the store as the trend keeps changing and updating is necessary.”

Uma, a retired psychologist, suggests that reading on paper instead of an electronic device helps in memory retention and focus.

“I personally like the feel of holding a paperback,” says Ayesha, a student from Jyoti Nivas College.

“The publisher or an author gives each title its own design and feel which is more captivating than looking at it onscreen. For me, it’s not just words but how those words are presented. That creates a personal connection as well.”

Rohan, a wildlife photographer, however, has a different view. He says, “I love Kindle as I travel a lot and I can immediately switch to another book if I’m bored with one.”

He further adds, “Why do we have to buy several books which will cost a lot of money and take up a lot of space when it can be replaced with a single device? A one-time investment on such a product is worth it!”

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