With the world’s longest non-stop flight now lasting over 18 hours, it’s important to have plenty of entertainment options available. Other than in-flight entertainment systems, the next best thing to have in one’s arsenal would be an exciting page-turner to dive into, to keep oneself occupied throughout a flight.
Choose the right book and it can also help to set the stage for a memorable vacation.
At Changi Airport, passengers looking to pick up a good read have continued to patronise WHSmith, which has grown to operate seven outlets across all terminals since opening the doors of its first store in Terminal 4 in 2017.
Demand for physical books remains strong
At a time when the publishing industry is feeling the pressure from digital technologies like e-book readers, which have risen steadily in popularity, it is no mean feat for a bookstore to not just thrive but flourish in Changi Airport.
A spokesperson from WHSmith points out that despite the popularity of e-book readers, the company has continued to see its physical books outselling its range of e-books to generate strong sales globally. “It seems that there is still something very special about being able to buy a physical book for your holiday, opening that first page and taking in the smell of the new pages, as you start your holiday escape.”
Book lovers will also contend that it is somehow more satisfying to flip the pages of a physical book, rather than scroll down an e-book reader.
It also helps that Changi’s terminals feature many calm and serene spots where passengers can settle down and lose themselves in a good read while waiting for their flight. From Koi ponds to the many free resting areas tucked away in the transit areas of the terminals, a good book or magazine remains a quintessential travel companion.
That said, book sales are just one part of the multi-pronged approach that WHSmith takes in securing its viability as a business in the long run.