SALT LAKE CITY — From her fifth-floor downtown office, Sheri Dew

concedes that while she loves to read a good book — one in which she

can turn pages and hold in her hands — she also reads from a Kindle.

The

president and chief executive officer of Deseret Book Co. said the

company is "aggressively" making books available on Kindle, a digital

book reader sold by Amazon.com, and will soon have content ready for the nook, the Barnes & Noble e-reader, and the iPad by Apple.

"The

actual physical book business isn't going to go away anytime soon," she

told the Deseret News Tuesday. "But the physical book business, by and

large, is not a growth business."

Deseret

Book is selling new products, in addition to digital books, and

executives note that they are in the retail business in addition to the

publishing business.

Its new

14,000-square-foot flagship store at 45 W. South Temple, which opens

Thursday afternoon for business, features music, fine art, DVDs, sheet

music and regional crafts.

The store

has limited-edition leatherbound classics, a 32-foot video wall,

old-fashioned candies, art, a Lion House Pantry Express that will sell

"grab 'n' go" food, custom framing and even an on-site "art concierge"

who will assist potential buyers with art acquisitions.

"One

of the things about retail is that it needs to be an experience," said

Mark H. Willes, president and chief executive officer of Deseret

Management Corp. (which also owns the Deseret News), the parent company

of Deseret Book.

"Anyone can go

online and buy a book, a CD, a DVD," Willes said. "The question is, why

would you come into the store? You may think you'll go into Deseret

Book to buy Fablehaven 5 (published by Deseret Book imprint Shadow

Mountain). But whenever you do that, you tend to browse. You're going

to see things in this store you can't find anywhere else, including

online."

The mission of Deseret Book

is to provide books for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of

Latter-day Saints, although not all its books are religious and not all

its customers are LDS.

The store

will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with a

grand opening planned April 2-10 that will feature author signings and

product giveaways. Customers can access underground parking on South

Temple, west of the store.Deseret Book timeline:1886: George Q. Cannon & Sons, the forerunner of Deseret Book,

opens for business at 44 E. South Temple. Its first product is the

Juvenile Instructor magazine.1898: Store relocates to 13 S. Main.1900: George Q. Cannon & Sons sells its publishing and bookselling

business to the Deseret News, and the Juvenile Instructor was taken

over by the Deseret Sunday School Union.1919: The Deseret News and Deseret Sunday School Union bookstores

39 comments on this story

consolidate, resulting in the formation of the Deseret Book Co.

1932: Deseret Book Co. incorporates as a Utah corporation and becomes a tax-paying, profit-oriented business.

1959: First branch store opens on Washington Boulevard in Ogden.

1976: Grand opening of the new Deseret Book store at 44 E. South Temple (as part of the ZCMI Center).

1990: Downtown Salt Lake store moves inside the ZCMI Center Mall.

2007: Deseret Book corporate offices relocate to newly refurbished building at 57 W. South Temple.

2010: New Deseret Book flagship store opens at 45 W. South Temple.


E-mail: lhancock@desnews.com