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The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print is Far From Dead

MULTIZ321

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The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print is Far From Dead - by Alexandra Alter/ Business/ Media/ International New York Times/ The New York Times/ nytimes.com

"Five years ago, the book world was seized by collective panic over the uncertain future of print.

As readers migrated to new digital devices, e-book sales soared, up 1,260 percent between 2008 and 2010, alarming booksellers that watched consumers use their stores to find titles they would later buy online. Print sales dwindled, bookstores struggled to stay open, and publishers and authors feared that cheaper e-books would cannibalize their business.

Then in 2011, the industry’s fears were realized when Borders declared bankruptcy.

“E-books were this rocket ship going straight up,” said Len Vlahos, a former executive director of the Book Industry Study Group, a nonprofit research group that tracks the publishing industry. “Just about everybody you talked to thought we were going the way of digital music.”

But the digital apocalypse never arrived, or at least not on schedule. While analysts once predicted that e-books would overtake print by 2015, digital sales have instead slowed sharply.

Now, there are signs that some e-book adopters are returning to print, or becoming hybrid readers, who juggle devices and paper. E-book sales fell by 10 percent in the first five months of this year, according to the Association of American Publishers, which collects data from nearly 1,200 publishers. Digital books accounted last year for around 20 percent of the market, roughly the same as they did a few years ago.

E-books’ declining popularity may signal that publishing, while not immune to technological upheaval, will weather the tidal wave of digital technology better than other forms of media, like music and television..."

23jpEBOOKS1-master675.jpg

Penguin Random House last year doubled the size of its distribution center in Crawfordsville, Ind., to speed up book distribution. Credit A J Mast for The New York Times


Richard
 

FLDVCFamily

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The hybrid thing is fairly true I think, probably moreso for certain populations than for others. While the Kindle is our first choice now, there may be some reason we want a physical copy of a certain book. I'd say that our purchases are 75% digital, 25% print, but that is mainly for kids' books. For DH and myself, it's probably closer to 100% digital. I don't see print books disappearing, but ebooks are probably going to dominate at least eventually.
 

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I find im about 70/30 in terms of ebooks vs print books....ever since I discovered you can buy pretty much any book off amazon for 3.99 shipped (click the used options)...anything I cant find in the kindle unlimited or local library ill simply buy in paperback!
 

pedro47

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I liked print books better than ebooks. Plus, I loved to collect print book for my library.
 

TUGBrian

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I like to add them to the shelf as well, but I switched to reading to fall asleep at night (vs watching tv)...and its just frustrating to read at night even with a decent reading light that doesnt bug the missus.

the kindle is just super handy for this.
 

bogey21

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I don't have an ebook reader yet but will one of these days as my eyes (now 80 years young) require larger print.

George
 

TUGBrian

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indeed, I do find i jack up the font a great deal when reading on the kindle just to make it easier. I also for whatever reason prefer white letters on a black background, vs the default black on white.
 

SueDonJ

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I'm probably 90/10 ebooks over the bookstore but I've always preferred paperback over hardcover. I don't like reading newspapers or magazines on the Kindle or the computer so I still have a few of those subscriptions.
 
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