There are many reasons bookstores point to for their successful holiday season. President Obama, they note, set the stage when he took his daughters, Sasha and Malia, to One More Page Books in Arlington, Va., on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, where he snapped up 15 children’s books.
Small bookstores report that they are also benefiting from the popularity of Kobo e-readers, which were designed for independent bookstores and allow customers to buy e-books through the independents’ Web sites, as opposed to say, Amazon.
Steve Bercu, an owner of BookPeople in Austin, Tex., said sales were up 10 percent over last year. He said that shoppers were buying coffee-table books but were also snapping up Kobo devices. “I was a naysayer,” he said, “but they are buying the actual devices, which surprised me.”
Becky Anderson, the owner of Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, Ill., said: “Our Black Friday and Small Business Saturday sales were up considerably over last year. That includes hardcovers and purchases made over the Internet, which we either ship or that you can pick up at the store.”
Ms. Anderson’s was a familiar story across the nation, according to the American Booksellers Association, a trade group for independent bookstores. Dan Cullen, a spokesman for the association, said that in-store book sales for November, which includes Black Friday and the start of Christmas shopping, were up 10 percent compared with 2011 figures.
“And while we expect to see some leveling off in the year-over-year numbers in December — due to the fact that December 2011 was a pretty strong month — sales for the indies are continuing strong,” Mr. Cullen said.
Barnes & Noble, by contrast, reported a slight decrease in retail sales over the Thanksgiving weekend from those a year before. The company said the decrease was expected because its sales last year were bolstered by the closing of many Borders stores after that chain went out of business.”
– The New York Times, "No Big Hits, But Bookshops Say They’re Thriving"