Newscafe

DIGITAL TREND IN GEORGIAN BOOK MARKET

Elena Makharoblishvili

Consequently, numbers of digital book store customers started growing. First Georgian digital book house Saba was created ten months ago and already became rather popular. As one of the project organisers Rati Amaglobeli says,

there are approximately 300 books on the web now and the list is growing quickly. Soon it will have additional features as well. Web space will be enlarged and authors will be able to upload their books themselves, which will give them more independence and possibility to get direct feedback from their readers. 20-year-old Salome bought Kindle Reader few days ago. She loves reading, but because of the students' busy daily life, sometimes she cannot manage to do it. "Another reason why I'd prefer reading on a Kindle Reader is that books are quite expensive. Besides there are some books that you cannot find in traditional books stores. So it's easier for me to find them online. I can download as much as I want and read them any time, even on the road to my university," says Salome. Rati thinks that digital book stores still need some time to become more popular, because they are quite new. "Current changes in the book world will lead a book to become a unique object. The quality of the book will increase, so does the cost. Books will never disappear from our shelves, they will only change their form," he adds. However, at the moment majority of Georgians still prefer reading paper based books. According to Newscafe's small survey in the streets of Tbilisi, 7 people out of 10 still give their preference to traditional books. "It's good when you can read books online, why not? But personally I only do this when I don't have enough time or I just cannot find it in the store. It's totally different when you feel the scent of your book, it seems like you are too close to the content as well," says 23-years-old Nino. The winner of Saba literature competition in The Best Debut, Salome Benidze, is of the same opinion. "Recently many people got interested in digital book stores, but at the same time they don't lose the interest in print books. For instance, my case might be an example. My print books are more demanded than the electronic ones," says Benidze. A Sales Manager at Literature Cafe Nika Papashvili thinks that the reason why people buy less books now is caused by the popularity of online book stores, but it's more about the financial problems in the society. "We welcome the appearance of digital books in the market. They don't cause any trouble for us. I am sure, paper books will always have readers. If need be, we don't exclude to have our own digital book store," says Papashvili.