According to a Nielsen report from the beginning of this year, ebook sales were down 16% in 2016. As a result something incredible happened, something many people thought would never happen again – print books out-sold ebooks last year!
Well, it never really left. And it isn’t so much that print is growing as it is that eBooks have just taken a hit…
You can read the Publisher’s Weekly article here for all the details. In essence, the rising prices of ebooks and waning sales of dedicated ereaders (which lead people to buy more ebooks because that is all the devices can be used for) has lead to a decline in ebook sales. The results?
It is early to tell, but it might just mean that print book lovers don’t have to worry about losing their beloved paper anytime soon; but that doesn’t necessarily mean that ebook readers should start recycling their Kindles either. As was previously blogged, an ebook reader is likely to be a print reader as well, and print readers are the ones most likely to start reading ebooks – readers are readers. It might just mean that the two formats can share the market more equally than originally anticipated, peacefully coexisting. Books, as always, point the way for the rest of us.
The Gallup Polls report, “Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated“, from January of this year shows that Americans are still reading just as much as they were 10, even 25, years ago. Even in spite of the advent of new technologies and the ever-growing list of other forms of entertainment and information.
Despite Americans’ ability to access more information, social networks, games and media than ever before, as well as the lingering rumors of the book’s demise, Americans still say they are reading books.
Additionally, while some have alleged that technology would displace printed books, this shift has not been as swift as expected. In fact, recent industry data show that sales of printed books have been increasing. While it is unclear if Americans are reading books only partially, reading shorter books or reading lower-quality books than they used to, the fact that they are reading just as many books as they were 15 years ago could signify welcome news to aspiring authors and publishers.
This suggests that book reading is a classic tradition that has remained a constant in a faster-paced world, especially in comparison to the slump of other printed media such as newspapers and magazines.”
Gallup, Inc. “Rumors of the Demise of Books Greatly Exaggerated.” Gallup.com. N.p., 06 Jan. 2017. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.