[responsive][/responsive]No doubt, ebook sales have been explosive since the Kindle launched in 2007. But according to new research from Nielson, ebooks were outsold by both hardcovers and paperbacks in the first half of 2014.
“According to Nielsen’s survey, ebooks constituted only 23 percent of unit sales for the first six months of the year, while hardcovers made up 25 percent and paperback 42 percent of sales,” writes Claire Fallon in The Huffington Post.
“In other words, not only did overall print book sales, at 67 percent of the market, outpace ebook sales, both hardcovers and paperbacks individually outsold ebooks,” Fallon writes.
That’s a pretty significant margin, and leads many in the industry to see ebooks and printed materials coexisting peacefully, according to Lincoln Michel at Electric Literature.
And Perseus Books Group’s CEO commented that “A healthy, diverse marketplace with multiple format, price point, and channel choices for the consumer is generally a positive for readers, authors, and publishers overall.”
That view is shared among many in the industry, according to Fallon.
“This continuing variety in format doesn’t only appeal to choice-conscious consumers,” she writes. “It may be a boon for those worried about the possible downsides of ereading, given growing, though still preliminary, evidence that print books may allow for deeper reading and stronger understanding and memory than digital books. Advocates of more engaged reading have often warned that the increasing omnipresence of ereading might erode our capacity to read deeply.”
“If the new trends continue, such warnings of the death of print books, and their potential benefits, may prove to have been greatly exaggerated,” Fallon continues.
So go ahead and add some print books to your holiday shopping list. You’ll look very smart.