Launceston celebrates Love Your Bookshop Day 2017

RELAXED READING: Stories Bookshop managing director Damian Morgan reading Andy Griffiths’ The 91-Storey Treehouse, with the tree behind him ready for children to decorate on Saturday. Pictures: Neil Richardson
RELAXED READING: Stories Bookshop managing director Damian Morgan reading Andy Griffiths’ The 91-Storey Treehouse, with the tree behind him ready for children to decorate on Saturday. Pictures: Neil Richardson

Books were once destined to become a niche market with the rise of the digital age.

But to the delight of bookshop owners and book lovers, sales are on the rise.

To celebrate everything national Love Your Bookshop Day, The Examiner visited three Launceston favourites to discuss what has kept the pages turning.

Stories Bookshop managing director Damian Morgan said for the third year in a row digital book sales had fallen.

He says people keep coming into bookstores because there was something special about the tactile nature of reading a book.

“Reading a book at night is great for kids,” Mr Morgan said.

The blue light emitted from devices can often lead to trouble sleeping so for children – or adults – a book is perfect.

RARE CHANCE: Collins Booksellers manager Mark Stevens is excited to share Love Your Bookshop Day with his customers.

RARE CHANCE: Collins Booksellers manager Mark Stevens is excited to share Love Your Bookshop Day with his customers.

To celebrate Love Your Bookshop Day on Saturday, Stories is catering to the kids, with a tree ready for decoration inspired by Andy Griffiths’ The 91-Storey Treehouse. There will also be the Cat in the Hat storytime at 10am to celebrate the book’s 60th anniversary.

At Petrarch’s the celebrations are all about not judging a book by its cover.

Event coordinator Andy Durkin said there will be a lucky-dip type special, for readers to have a chance of finding something they would have never bought before.

“A lot of people will come in a go to the same author they always read or what someone has recommended, so this is a way to find a new love,” she said.

The books are wrapped in brown paper, with a quote to give you a clue as to what it could be about, and the name of the staff member who recommends the book.

FINDING LOVE: Petrarch’s event coordinator Andy Durkin said the store is encouraging customers to find a new love, by buying a book blind.

FINDING LOVE: Petrarch’s event coordinator Andy Durkin said the store is encouraging customers to find a new love, by buying a book blind.

Meanwhile, at Collins Booksellers there is a chance to receive a handwritten card and autographed copy of a special book.

According to manager Mark Stevens customers need to get in quick with only three special copies on offer.

Mr Stevens said he, like most booksellers, aimed to always know his product inside and out.

He agreed with Mr Morgan, saying the tactile sensation of reading a book was something that still drew people into the store.

“We are actually finding that with students, because they use laptops and iPads at school they don’t want that at home,” Mr Stevens said.

Love Your Bookshop Day is an initiative of the Australian Booksellers Association, the national body representing bookshops across Australia.