Books in New Zealand are very expensive. A new paperback novel in a bookshop is about $40NZ (about £20 UK). In the UK that same novel will be about £7 or £8 but the bookshops sell most new novels on a bogof basis (buy one get one half price or three for the price of two). In the UK bookshops appear to be still flourishing despite the competition from Amazon (where the same paperback will probably cost £4.50) and electronic books for use on the Kindle and iPad and so on. It is generally cheaper in NZ to buy a paperback from Amazon.com in the US and ship it here or from an on-line bookshop here.
I like books. I am not sure how I would react to a Kindle but I'm pretty sure I will end up buying one. Why? Because these days when travel by air means less and less luggage in and out of the cabin two medium paperbacks weigh more than a Kindle which can hold about 3500 books and takes up less room than a paperback.
So the threat to bookstores in NZ is considerable.
In Tauranga I noticed that the chain franchise Poppies store was closing:
|"Instore" On the facade of a book store - ugh|
In Napier the Dymocks Book Store has closed and the Whitcoulls group which has been around since 1882 when it started up in Christchurch is in Administration.
This leaves a Paper Plus (which is a general stationers etc which sells books) and the privately owned Beatties and Forbes Book Shop.
What happens now?