Bookstore owner: ‘We try to make everybody comfortable’

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 3, 2009

By Susan Shinn
To tell the truth, Deal Safrit doesn’t seemed too concerned about the Kindle.
“E-books have been around for six or eight years,” says Deal, owner of the Literary Bookpost. “There are some people who are automatically going to gravitate toward it because of the technology ó it’s the newest thing.”
The Kindle, however, can only be purchased by Amazon, Deal points out. “Amazon’s getting where they dominate so much of the market anyway, they’re a single source of what’s available. It’s a form of censorship in effect.”
Niche readers, he says, may not find what they need.
Another concern has been the audio function the Kindle provides ó which caused a near-riot by the audiobook industry recently. At the moment, this function has been disabled.
Deal still much prefers the printed word. He calls the e-catalogues he receives at the bookstore (he doesn’t have a computer at home) “extremely obnoxious.”
There have been threats against print before, Deal says. “How threatened are we by Kindle and how threatened are we by Amazon?”
Meantime, Literary Bookpost will continue to concentrate on one of its strengths ó outstanding customer service.
“We do a huge amount of special orders,” he says. “We work very hard with the community on authors and special events.”
Literary Bookpost recently participated in two author appearances at Catawba College ó one by Chris Bohjalian and one by ABC’s Jim Wooten.
And Deal agrees with Chris Bohjalian ó in town for the Brady Author’s Symposium ó that there’s something solid and comforting and innately tactile about a book.
His bookstore is also a community gathering place, he says ó a great hangout.
“One day last week we had several people sprawled on the floor. We try to make everybody feel comfortable.”