30-40 per cent discount usually offered by online sites is beyond our capacity, they say

Publishers and booksellers may consider it a privilege to participate in the silver jubilee celebrations of the Vijayawada Book Festival this year.

But what has baffled them this time round is the demand from people, particularly youth, for discounts on par with e-commerce sites (online shopping sites).

At many stalls, visitors are seen referring to online stores such as Flipkart to put forward their demand for 30- 40 per cent discount despite the organisers repeatedly announcing a discount of 10 per cent.

The stall owners had to maintain their composure and explain to the visitors that their business could not be compared with e-commerce sites and online sales.

The online companies can offer huge discounts as they do not have any overheads such as maintenance of shops and workforce. So, they pass on some per cent of the profit/commission to the buyers.

Such a thing is not possible for a book store. The shop owners had to meet all the overheads from the commission offered by the publishers, explain the stall owners.

Going further, Latif, a stall owner, says, “Online surfing is good only if we already have some particular book in mind. Then, it’s easy to just log in and buy.”

Differing views

Echoing a similar feeling, S. Narasimha Rao says: “When I go to a book store, I see all the books around me and just pick a few titles at random and start reading the blurb or the first chapter. Nothing beats like holding the book in your hands and checking it out.”

But his daughter S. Ramya has a different version. For her, buying books online is a better option.

The discounts offered top the list of reasons.

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