Paperbacks Making a Comeback

Trees of the world beware as paperback books are making a comeback.

The Guardian recently published an article stating sales of physical books increased 4 percent in the United Kingdom last year while e-book sales shrank by the same amount. The article flies in the face of the industry that started the decade fearing the printed word was dead.

However, there may be more to the story than just how the magic is gone for people seduced by sleek e-readers and cheap digital books. The e-reader itself has turned out to have a short shelve life as smartphone apps and tablets overtook the market for dedicated reading devices to become the most popular way to read an e-book, according to the Nielsen Research Group.

Besides convenience, price is also another issue playing a factor in the shift from pixels to print. E-books increased in price by 7 percent in 2016, while the price of a hard copy increased only 3 percent. The shift in book pricing could be due to a massive change in contractual terms agreed between Amazon, which controls up to 90 percent of the e-book market, and the major publishing houses. As a result, it is now sometimes cheaper to buy the physical copy of a new title on Amazon than the Kindle download.

E-readers probably aren’t going to completely disappear as the Enders Research Firm reports that older readers remain fans due to features such as font size control.

Either way it looks like paperback purists will continue to have their pleasure of book smelling and page caressing for many years to come.

In what form do you enjoy reading? Hardcover, paperback, ebook, or audiobook?

-Robyn R.

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