KPAX - MISSOULA - Just one year ago, the Best Buy store in Missoula offered one eReader and still had a book section. But now, there are over nine eReaders and the book section is gone.
Customer Solutions Manager, Rob Hooper says they noticed the demand begin this past Black Friday.
"The very first thing that people ran for in our building was the Nook because it was on sale. It was the number one sought after thing for the very first customer that waited overnight in the cold, they ran after the eReader."
Hooper added that sales for eReaders have doubled over the past year and they expect the trend to continue.
"The unit sales are way up and really the technology has gotten even better for the eReaders too. With that, as it gets better and you get more options, naturally things start to trend in the upper direction," he explained.
The increase of eReaders and eBooks sales has national book sellers are facing tough times. Just last month, several Borders bookstores in Montana closed, including the Bozeman location.
But independent bookstore, Fact and Fiction of Missoula is celebrating their 25th anniversary in March, and manager Barbara Theroux says they are now offering eBooks on their website to stay current.
"If you're starting to lose business because of onlines sales, then you need to be online. [It's] Eight to nine percent of book business, that can help your bottom line."
The eBook craze is also popping up in the classrooms. Seeley Swan High School English Teacher, Sam Tudor says he'd like to have an eReader in the hand of each of his students.
"It would be very easy for me as a teacher to say, 'hey get out your Kindle and we'll download this book', and away we go."
For his students, or what he calls his ‘technological natives,' sometimes the added technology sparks a student's initial interest in reading.
"As an English teacher, sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get a kid to open a book and read it. Where as the aspect of technology within it tends to attract them a little bit more and get them into the reading."
But can our youth handle all the technology? Freshman Paxton Castle says it's what her generation knows, "things are changing, I mean yeah everything has been a certain way for a long time but things are going to change. Nothing stays the same."
Almost every student in Mr. Tudor's classroom said in a classroom vote that they'd rather read from an eReader than a textbook. And fr Mr. Tudor, it solves the age-old issue of dwindling books.
"If I wanted to teach To Kill A Mockingbird, I'd have like one kid with five editions of this copy, maybe five of this copy and five of this copy. So, when I say open to page 25, half of them are there and the other half realize that they're at a different point in the book."