Barnes & Noble at Kahala Mall closing - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Barnes & Noble at Kahala Mall closing

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It's the final chapter for east O'ahu's biggest bookstore -- the Barnes & Noble Booksellers at Kahala Mall will soon be closing. 

Edward Moore, a regular customer, was saddened by the news.

"Ouch, I'm in there at least once, twice a week," said the teacher.  "I must have 2,000 books in my house.  There's something comfortable about having books around you."

Just two years after Borders shuttered all its locations, Moore wasn't the only one disappointed to hear another O'ahu bookstore would be closing for good.

"That takes away the author talks, that takes away the opportunities for kids to work together in a group— for Moms and Dads to bring their kids in and just sit down and read– it's important to have," explained Catherine Ball.

A local manager confirmed the Kahala store will be closing, though it's unclear when. Calls to the corporate spokesperson were not returned Friday, but sources say the lease at Kahala Mall is up next January.

"I can't think what we'll do without this book store here because it is so popular - so many people go in and out of here all the time," said Alexandra Ottiger, another regular customer.

In January, Barnes and Noble's CEO, Mitchell Klipper, announced the company would be closing nearly a third of all its locations, at a rate of about 20 stores a year over the next decade.

According to a recent Nielsen Bookscan report, e-readers and digital devices are now the preferred way to read - causing a decline in printed book sales by more than 20% in the last five years.

It's unclear whether the Kahala closure is related to sales or its reported expiring lease, but there's no doubt online retailers and e-book business has been tough competition for traditional bookstores.

"I use my iPad, magazines on my phone, e-readers, stuff like that," said Tyler Workman, after admitting it's been years since he's bought a book.

Moore says it's just a sign of the changing times.  "For me, I'm sad to see the books go, I'm sad not to smell the bookstore, but as long as people are still reading - that's okay," Moore said.

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