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Jan 23, 2015 2:54 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

BookHampton Begins Southampton And East Hampton Home Delivery To Compete In Changing Market

Jan 27, 2015 10:39 AM

As a way to keep its doors open through the winter, BookHampton, with locations in East Hampton and Southampton, is now delivering books straight to customers’ doors.

The family-owned local bookseller, which opened in 1970, has been struggling in recent years as sales have surged on the internet and old-fashioned paper and binding have found it hard to compete with electronic reading devices.

According to BookHampton owner Charline Spektor, purchased books are being delivered by store employees to customers from Southampton to Montauk at no extra charge, and the delivery system will continue into the summer months.

“We’ll do it for as long as people ask for it,” Ms. Spektor said, adding that customers can also text in book orders.

Last year, BookHampton made an appeal to its customers to purchase books, indicating that it was in danger of going out of business. The company’s Sag Harbor store closed in late 2013, and its North Fork location in Mattituck closed last December.

Ms. Spektor said that she hopes BookHampton’s community involvement and personal approach in its two remaining locations will help it survive in a swiftly changing marketplace. She said BookHampton employees are knowledgeable about books and can make smart recommendations to customers face-to-face or over the phone.

“We’re not algorithms. We’re real people,” she said, referring to the mathematical computer operations that sort online data to make recommendations to website customers. “We participate in the community. We do reading programs for children. We are actively there. That can’t be said for other bookstores. That is unique to BookHampton.”

Last summer, BookHampton hosted a book-signing event for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at its East Hampton location, where supporters lined up on the sidewalk of Main Street for hours awaiting autographs. The bookstore has also hosted such notables as film star and cookbook author Gwyneth Paltrow, author Joyce Carol Oates and Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel.

“We’re always delighted when we have a wonderful author come in,” Ms. Spektor said. “We’re providing something that’s really valuable, culturally, for the community.”

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Last year there was a fund drive begging for money. What's next, a Jerry Lewis Telethon?
By nazznazz (276), east hampton on Jan 24, 15 12:22 PM