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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, May 28, 2018

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Bookstores find niche areas as e-books, online shopping take off

Local bookstore Reader's Haven

Share on Facebook August 11, 2012, Reporter : Brunei Times, Reader : 543

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BOOKSTORES in Brunei are under pressure to tap into niche areas amidst rising popularity of online shopping and the advent of electronic books (e-book).

Edwin Wun, the owner of local bookstore Reader's Haven, said "it is kind of hard" for conventional book retailers to maintain business as readers increasingly purchase books online.

"We're just basically getting by. For the time being, we can still compete but if more people are buying books online, it may mean game over for bookstores," he said.

In order to remain in the business, his company is considering new, specialised books for specific readers, he said.

"Most bookstores are serving the general market. We only do fictions, we don't sell dated books."

He shared his opinion that despite the trend for consumers to move away from buying traditional books and enjoy the latest popular fiction on their Kindle or e-reader, there are still some readers who seek rare or niche books and prefer to buy from local booksellers and read the old-fashioned way.

"There are some people who prefer hard copies and there are some special editions that are only available in hardcopies," Wun said.

"We are looking into many options to find the niche market, because online reading is the future that we cannot defy."

The assistant manager at Mubarak Book Emporium, Barkath Ali, said his company is looking at outsourcing e-book materials in the near future.

"We are planning to serve customers online. We are the first store in Brunei to start a website page in 2009 (after) realising that everybody is going online," he said. more...

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