LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Writer’s Block, a gem of downtown Las Vegas since 2014, moved into its most recent location on Bonneville and 6th avenue in 2019. The book shop is nowhere near extinction.

“Books and brick and motor stores have a lot in common with each other where people have predicted that both would go the way of the dinosaur,” Co-Owner Drew Cohen explained.

The Writer’s Block is the only independent bookstore in southern Nevada that sells new books. Soon, it could be the only one in the state with Sundance bookstore in Reno closing out its final chapter on May 31 after four decades.

As you walk through the rows and rows of books at The Writer’s Block, you’ll notice its customers are made up of about half Las Vegas locals and the other half tourists. Cohen said he they couldn’t survive without either one.

Tourists like Anne Marie Jacobson from Colorado favor paperback books over e-readers.

“Nothing beats the feel or smell of a paperback. I like to write in books and have a dialogue with the text in that way,” she explained. “We’re drawn to books in general. We own things like a Kindle and we have lots of books in that way but we like the feel of a bookstore and we like to come into the space and be with other people.”

The book shop has more than 20,000 books to choose from along with its most requested addition: a coffee shop inside the store. The hottest selling books right now are romance and fantasy.

What may be the biggest shock is younger people overall prefer paperback books.

“We do have a young demographic overall and I do think young people overwhelmingly seem to prefer print books,” Cohen said.

Other reasons like eye strain, digital book detox, and a new book smell can help explain the resurgence of physical books. New research shows that comprehension can be six times better with physical books than e-readers, which is good news for these bookstores like this one.

This store is truly a book lovers’ dream, but what keeps places like this going when up against giant retail bookshops and technology?

“The digital technology for books like Kindle seems to have really hit its top with older demographic and definitely is good for bookstores all over,” Cohen added. “We can be very responsive on what we see on a day to day basis like when we order books it’s me ordering the books and looking at the shelves.”

They also host various events like free creative writing seminars, field trips for local schools, book clubs, and author signings which keeps the community involved and coming back. Their next event is a Poems and Pie Book Club on June 5th.

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