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Cheap books for everyone!

Bibliophiles who whimper every time they hear the damage at the bookstore counter can breathe a sigh of relief.

“Book prices are going down. I can say that for sure,” says Simon & Schuster Canada president Kevin Hanson in a Canadian Press story that appeared in the Toronto Star today. “As the Canadian dollar has appreciated against the U.S. dollar, you’re seeing a dramatic effect on prices of books and I think that’s a really good thing,” he says.

It’s great news for book retailers that have been getting it from all sides from customers who, noting the price discrepancy (even with the exchange) between American and Canadian list prices, are uber-cranky. Paul McNally, president of the Canadian Booksellers Association, says, “The reaction from consumers has been a murmur of discontent and lately we’re getting cries of discontent.”

Joel Silver, Indigo/Chapters’ executive vice-president of procurement, has seen the same thing, and says that the industry will have to buckle — or face the consequences. “It’s a competitive industry so I think everybody needs to respond as businesspeople to the marketplace and say we’ve got to get these prices down,” says Silver. According to him, the latter half of 2006 could herald a 5-10% drop in pricing on new books.

Related links:
Read the Toronto Star story here