Conversations That Matter: Saving private bookstores – Vancouver Sun

Canadian book stores lost half their business from 1995 to 2015
“Bookstores are important, because they sell the cultural objects that feed and shape our soul,” says Marc Côté, the publisher of Cormorant Books.
“Books and the stories they contain make us more human. They improve our ability to empathize, and empathy is the glue that holds societies together.”
When was the last time you bought a book in a bookstore in Canada written by a Canadian? Not online, but in a bookstore with a person to talk to who knows about books. The number of bankrupt bookstores suggests not many of us have bought a book in a book store in Canada, let alone a book written by a Canadian.
“Canadian booksellers lost 50 per cent of their market share from 1995 to 2015,” Côté say. “With shrinking market presence comes shrinking book sales and revenues — money that makes possible the discovery and nurturing of literary talents known throughout our country and abroad.”
If you are reading this and feeling badly that you didn’t go into the local bookstore before it closed, you’re not alone. Did you know many local libraries also orders online from the United States, even when buying Canadian books?
Côté says, “Answering the disappearing Canadian bookstore conundrum won’t be easy. It’s going to take more than just consumers — governments also have to get involved and provide a menu of incentives, tax breaks and subsidies.”
We invited Côté to join for a Conversation That Matters about the important role bookstores play in neighbourhoods and our lives.
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