From an article in Bookselling This Week ...
Some bookstores are hosting digital petting zoos to introduce e-book options. Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle’s Children’s Books in Mendocino, California, combined a petting zoo with a holiday party. “We had a computer set up and were showing customers how to buy e-books from our website,” said owner Christie Olson Day. “We also had preloaded books on an iPad, iPod Touch, Sony Reader, and laptop.”
Olson Day’s aim was to demonstrate to customers not only how to buy e-books, but also how e-books can serve the needs specific to their neighborhood. “We’re out in the boonies and don’t have reliable wireless. So we highlighted that you can read Google eBooks offline. That’s really important to people here.”
Olson Day said that customers “like the idea that we’re in the e-book game and they’re rooting for us, but not many are falling in love with reading digitally.” More evidence, she said, “that print and e-books have a long future coexisting together.”
However, she believes that during the flood of publicity surrounding the launch of Google eBooks one important message was lost or confused. “Customers have heard the fact that Google eBooks are good for the indies, but they’ve missed the fact that the need to buy them from us,” Olson Day said. “You’ve got to figure that for every one person who bothered to ask how this is good for us, there are still one hundred out there who don’t get it. So we’re publicizing that if they want to support their independent bookstore they need to buy their e-books from our site.”