Paperchain Bookstore Manuka senior staff member Rose Ward restocks some of the Christmas best sellers. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
DESPITE the popularity of electronic readers, book sellers Paperchain in Manuka recorded bumper sales during Christmas, with the retailer struggling to keep up with demand.
The shop was selling at least five copies of Hilary Mantel’s novels Bring up the Bodies and Wolf Hall every day, Rose Ward said .
“The latest Ian Rankin we’ve been ordering 20 at a time and selling out,’’ Ms Ward said.
“The Hilary Mantel we’ve sold hundreds. We’ve having trouble keeping the shelves stocked.’’
Ms Ward said additional staff were hired at the start of last month to shorten queues.
“Even during the week there have been days when we have a queue at the counter five or six deep for half an hour.’’
She said the store’s turnover showed Canberrans were attached to handling and buying books.
“It will be a while before e-readers take over from the physical format.’’
Amazon Publishing has 180 million customers, and research by credit-card company VISA found that 79 per cent of Australian internet users made an online purchase in the past one year.
Books were among the most commonly bought items after airline tickets and accommodation.
Ms Ward said the store’s customers were very loyal and people were in a rush at Christmas time.
“In the lead-up to Christmas, getting a book immediately outweighs the small discount you get from buying online.’'