December 1, 2015

Massachusetts: “Bookstore Owners Say Paper Books and Digital Books Can Co-Exist”

Note: Article also includes comment from a local library director.

From The Worcester Telegram & Gazette:

Patricia M. Cryan was never first in line to buy new iPhones, and she isn’t selling e-books yet.

The technologically patient owner of Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester on James Street said she isn’t resisting the latter, but will get to them in time. She said she believes print and electronic formats can easily co-exist.


Ms. Cryan, the Worcester bookstore owner, said her customers tend to have an electronic device for travel or vacations, but they may want a print book to share the reading experience with their children. Or, if it’s a book they know they’ll cherish and may even want signed, they prefer print.

She said her store has many books that are out of print that can’t be found in an electronic format.

While Ms. Cryan said she isn’t nervous about the rapid growth in e-reader and e-book sales, she said she is nervous about the publishing model itself, “where it seems that everyone and their dog can put out a book.”

The result is often books of lesser quality that are not being overseen in the same way as in the traditional print market, she said.


In Southbridge, Jacob Edwards Library director Margaret Morrissey said the facility has been diversifying, spending about $2,000 a year in e-books out of its approximately $70,000 for materials. That will increase commensurate with anticipated demand, she said.

The funding is pooled into the Central/Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing system.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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