Video: New Cape Breton e book retail store tapping into renewed desire in print | Regional-Business | Business

SYDNEY — It is not just suspense that helps make a e-book a site-turner, at least which is the viewpoint of the house owners of Downtown Sydney’s latest bookstore.

It can be also locating pleasure in flipping as a result of genuine paper products and solutions and not the endless and potentially impersonal swiping that comes from e-looking at literature.

On Paper Textbooks opened in December on Charlotte Road following four several years of very careful organizing to eager audiences who share a passion for the printed merchandise. 

“I believe that people today are coming back again to it and there are numbers that are showing that in excess of the previous couple of many years that books are generating a comeback,” mentioned Alison Uhma who owns the retailer with partner Donald Calabrese. 

“There’s something about possessing the genuine artifact that is a e-book and keeping it and participating with it. When you are all the time consuming electronic info and you have that metallic point in your hand, I assume persons want to get that emotion in the book. There’s a little something about it, the sense of the web site and the smell of the e book. People stroll in all the time and say ‘it smells like textbooks.’” 

Their desire of opening a downtown bookstore commenced with the purchase of the contents of a employed book keep in Sackville, N.B. For a brief second, they deemed trying to keep the store open up in New Brunswick prior to a need to are living and work in Cape Breton gained above. 

The vast majority of that stock remained in storage when they waited for the correct option to open a retailer of their possess in Cape Breton. A location was picked out at the other stop of Charlotte Street but it was ruined by fireplace in March 2020, forcing them to uncover an different site. 

The former Finest of Cape Breton locale would finally turn out to be their new home in time for a December opening. 

That applied ebook collection is located in again. New ones are in entrance along with that welcoming scent of guides, Uhma mentioned, emanating from neat stacks of endless fiction and non-fiction groups. 


The independent bookstore known as On Paper Books is now open on Charlotte Street. Part-owner Alison Uhma hopes the new store can be part of a ‘book district’ of sorts in a renewed downtown Sydney shopping areas. GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON POST - Greg Mcneil
The unbiased bookstore known as On Paper Textbooks is now open on Charlotte Avenue. Portion-owner Alison Uhma hopes the new retail store can be aspect of a ‘book district’ of kinds in a renewed downtown Sydney buying areas. GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON Put up – Greg Mcneil


The new business enterprise now joins Ed’s Guides and Extra, NPC Games and Comics and the Cape Breton Curiosity Shop as spots that present new and utilised literature all inside of a short walking distance.  

“If you go to any healthier downtown you see a lot more than a single ebook retail store and I assume persons want to appear at it that way. They can come to feel really fantastic about all the books you can have again. I believe it is a indicator of a balanced downtown.” 

Ed Gillis, the operator of Ed’s Textbooks, welcomed the new small business to downtown. 

“Our suppliers I consider offer diverse points so we are not likely to conflict,” said Gillis, who has tentatively prepared a spring re-opening of his reserve retail outlet.  

“Actually, once I get back heading if factors are a bit additional relaxed, we will enhance each and every other. There is no explanation why we can’t and I’m on the lookout ahead to that. I feel it is a really positive matter and I hope they can weather the storm.” 



On Paper Publications has only been in operation for a little in excess of a month but its proprietors were being encouraged by a store local development in Cape Breton that led to brisk small business for the new undertaking all through the holiday break season. 

“We don’t have nearly anything to assess it to but when you open a new retailer you hope folks will occur and men and women did,” Uhma claimed. 

“It was great to see individuals sharing the optimistic means they were emotion about the retailer on-line. It encouraged us to keep likely. A good deal of folks have been coming in and stating we are procuring local this yr. I have listened to that a large amount this calendar year.” 

As a board member of the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design and a former personnel of Doktor Luke’s coffeehouse, she experienced read people today focus on the pattern of purchasing area in the past and explained it was awesome to see a transfer in direction of that this yr. 

“There is so a great deal downtown appropriate now, extra than there was when I 1st moved here 10 a long time back. It’s youthful people. And, for the people who have been all over for a when, they have considered in this region the full time and they hardly ever left. We have to give them kudos for that.” 


On Paper Books opened on Charlotte Street in December and provides new/used books, fine stationery and gifts. It is owned by Alison Uhma, shown, and Donald Calabrese. GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON POST - Greg Mcneil
On Paper Books opened on Charlotte Avenue in December and presents new/used books, high-quality stationery and items. It is owned by Alison Uhma, demonstrated, and Donald Calabrese. GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON Publish – Greg Mcneil


Although get the job done proceeds to boost foot targeted traffic, there is by now an energetic hard work to bring On Paper Books to a significantly wider on the net sector. 

The new shop has been picked as a participant in a Cape Breton Partnership application with ShopHERE run by Google that assists businesses create a tailored web-site and schooling and applications to make, start, and regulate an on the internet retailer.  

Uhma said they had marketed some publications on the web through AbeBooks in the past and has hopes for regional, national and international product sales from this application in the long term. 

“Abe hosts a large amount of independent compact books outlets and so we have been marketing some of our uncommon publications through there, but we’d like to sell them by our individual web site as effectively for the reason that we’d like to provide not just the Sydney place but other pieces of Cape Breton, as well. I know there is a few of areas advertising guides, which is genuinely fantastic, but if people today see some thing they want and they’d prefer to stay type of regional, we’d like to do that.” 

ShopHERE program is delivered by Cape Breton Partnership in collaboration with Electronic Major Avenue. 

Companies that complete the software get a customized on line shop with business enterprise information and facts, branding and a logo. Education in digital marketing and advertising, shipping and stock administration is also aspect of the plan. 


The majority of customers to On Paper Publications to day are underneath the age of 30, which bodes very well for the foreseeable future of the printed book and all those who promote them. Individuals are coming in from every single age demographic, of training course, but Uhma is especially psyched to see a youthful age team coming downtown. 

“You hear a ton about men and women relocating absent and then to just see that and have that energy, for me, it is just so thrilling,” she mentioned. 

“They are so delighted to have a new e-book keep. They all like Ed’s and go to the comedian book retail outlet but they really like to have a further thing on Charlotte Street to do.” 

At this time, it’s just her doing work in the keep but if business enterprise goes properly, element-time hires will be part of the store’s future. 

Greg McNeil is a business reporter at the Cape Breton Publish.