Saturday 18 September 2021

Campaign to support local bookshops off to flying start

Photo: Depositphoto.com

A campaign to support struggling high street bookshops has got off to a flying start but it will take more to save one in three bookshops from going under, organiser CPNB said.

‘We won’t have the official figures until Thursday, CPNB spokesman Job Jan Altena told DutchNews.nl. ‘But it’s very clear that consumers have been heeding our call to support their local bookshop. We hope the effect will be a lasting one. A rise in sales is great but a couple of day are not going to make the difference, unfortunately.’

Bookshop owners were pleasantly surprised when on kick-off day last Thursday online orders started coming in, in some cases at a rate of every couple of minutes. ‘We have had to hire people to process all the orders,’ Franka Wijers of the Kennemer Boekhandel in Haarlem told book trade magazine Boekblad.

Another bookshop owner reported a 100% increase of orders on the day. ‘I thought we would perhaps see minus 60 or 70% of the normal revenue this month but that will now be halved,’ Arno Koek of Boekhandel Blokker in Heemstede said.

‘We have had to cut down on staff because of the closure and we had a productive talk with our landlord about the rent. But we have to pay distribution costs as well. We’re not out of the woods by a long stretch but this campaign has been a great effort by the CPNB and everyone else involved.’

With any luck the bookshops will be open when Norwegian thriller writer Jo Nesbø starts a tour of Dutch bookshops, from June 7 to June 13, to promote the Dutch translation of The Jealousy Man (De Jaloezieman)  which was chosen to kick off this year’s summer read campaign.

Nesbø’s book, a murder mystery set on a Greek island, will be given away with a minimal €15 spend on books in Dutch.

The author said he was honoured his book had been chosen. ‘I don’t know if we’ll be able to travel this summer but De Jaloezieman will take you to Greece in any case.’

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