Bookstores without Borders find life not so bad

It was supposed to be doom and gloom in Australia’s bookstores, but Chris Redfern who owns the Avenue bookstore in prosperous Albert Park has been noticing something unexpected — his sales have been increasing. It is only by 5 per cent since July, but it is something.

With yesterday’s report to the federal government on strategies for the book industry, he agrees with the recommendation to either scrap GST on books sold here or impose it on imports — to make it fair — but realises this might be difficult to do in practice.

He also supported the recommendation to reduce from 30 days to 14 the time for a local publisher to make up its mind it will publish an overseas book before it can be imported by booksellers.

Digital books and online sales are posing challenges for independent sellers like him, but since the collapse of Borders and most of the Angus & Robertson chain, book lovers appear to have rallied around their local stores — via

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