Federal Minister Questions Viability of Bookshops

Federal Minister for Small Business Nick Sherry predicted this morning that online shopping will wipe out bookstores within the next five years. Senator Sherry made the comments at the launch of a campaign called Driving Business Online, an initiative intended to encourage small business owners to develop the online side of their business.

The Australian Booksellers Association’s CEO Joel Becker said he was “gobsmacked” by the minister’s comments, while ABA president Jon Page, of Pages and Pages Booksellers in Sydney, added, “I think there’s still a place for an independent that services their local community”. The ABA has launched an initiative of its own - National Bookshop Day, on August 20 - the focus of which will be “celebrating bookshops, their contributions to the local community and to Australian literature, culture and society.”

A few weeks ago, the Wheeler Centre hosted a fascinating Meanland event on the future of the bookshop. Here’s the video:

(Click to watch 'Meanland: The Evolution of the Bookshop'.)

(Click to watch 'Meanland: The Evolution of the Bookshop'.)

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