Book stores turning a new page in business

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - It's a plot twist that has changed the way people read books.

"More and more people are getting e-Readers and iPads and just not buying as many books," said Bay Books owner Jeremy Burken.

The ease of downloading a book in just a few seconds has put a strain on some independent book sellers.  Pass Christian Books has been open for ten years, and its owner has seen the business change with the times.

"It's done an almost 180 degree change. When we started out, independent book stores new and used were very prevalent. Then, the internet: Amazon, eBay, then the chain books stores. So, we've dealt with all that in our time," said Pass Christian Books owner Scott Naugle.

Burken took over Bay Books in Bay St. Louis just one year ago.  To keep up with the competition, he's added more merchandise to sell alongside the books.

"It has made it more competitive. You have to really hustle," said Burken.

However, these book store owners say the printed word is not in danger of being cut out, and that stores just have to adapt to competition.

They believe the small store experience will always have book worms returning.

"It's a shared experience in an independent book store.  That may not occur in those other avenues," said Naugle.

Whether readers are turning the page or clicking a button, the owners say the important thing is that people keep reading.

"I think people read more than ever, and yes, I think they want to find a book. They read in different ways now. The important thing is that people read," said Naugle.

Both owners say children's books continue to be one of the biggest sellers, and Bay Books even expanded its kids' section to meet the demand.

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