CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Heading into the holiday season, industry experts say there could be a book shortage.
Publishers Weekly reports there are supply chain issues across the book industry. Contributing factors include the shortage of truck drivers and laborers, port congestion, rising transportation costs and a shrinking printing capacity.
Paper Skyscraper in Dilworth has a little something for everyone, including books. The co-owner, Bill Godwin, said he's already received emails about shortages for doormats, candles, books, calendars, paper products, toys and candy. So they're working to make sure those shortages don’t impact its inventory or customers.
"We're bringing in stuff months ahead of when we would normally bring it in,” Godwin said. “And that's to ensure that we have it and that it's not sold to somebody else."
He said they're stocking up so much they're "having trouble finding places to put it all."
WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing email@example.com.
Warren Publishing, which is based in the Charlotte area, is starting to see printing delays and is having trouble finding paper.
"The supply chain is a giant kind of mess,” Mindy Kuhn, owner and publisher for Warren Publishing, said.
Between people ordering more books during the COVID-19 pandemic, not having the supplies, and a lack of workers to produce products, Kuhn said the supply chain issues in the book industry have only gotten worse.
"Then, you add a normal slow down at the holiday season 'cause printers normally are just slow in their times this time of year, and then you've got this other issue that just makes it ridiculous," Kuhn explained.
Kuhn also owns Corks, Cooks, & Books, a wine bar, bookstore and restaurant in Rock Hill, South Carolina. She said the supply chain problems haven’t trickled down to impact consumers yet.
"So far, you know, knock on anything wood, we are pretty, pretty good with getting in titles,” Kuhn said.
But Godwin said he predicts there will be some impact on the book industry heading into the holiday season.
"There will be stores that have issues,” Godwin said.
Both Kuhn and Godwin recommend planning out the holiday shopping list and shopping around early if there is a particular book or gift that is needed so no supply chain issues are encountered.