Let’s face it: book stores are having a tough time of it. With e-books and the generation of digital content, those still interested in perusing book stores are getting fewer by the day. In their efforts to attract more customers to their stores, a golden egg may have landed at their door. This interesting news came to us from Publishers Weekly in their article, “New Pokémon Game Takes Bookstores By Storm.”

Pokémon Go is driving people into bookstores and driving up sales. The augmented reality app, based on the Pokémon gaming franchise, has become a viral phenomenon since it was released in the United States earlier this month. It has been reported that the number of people playing the app may soon surpass the number of people using Twitter.

Those playing Pokémon Go rely on a map informed by the GPS on their smartphones, which leads them on a hunt to catch new Pokémon, find unique items, and battle their prize Pokémon with other players. Locations in the real world are turned into hotspots in the game: your local church could be a Poké Gym, where users can battle their Pokémon against each other; a book store down the street could serve as a Poké Stop, where players can pick up important items; etc. The nature of the game is proving to be a boost for foot traffic at many retailers.

Maybe this will change the tune of many curmudgeons who are disparaging this as another hipster novelty. Or maybe not.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.