Thursday, May 19, 2011

How We Read

Cnet is reporting that kindle books have now overtaken print books being sold from  This number includes print books not available on the kindle but does not include free kindle books.  Currently for every 100 print books Amazon sells, they sell 105 eBooks.  I don't see that number going down. 

In the U.S. print sales have been declining and at least part of that has to do with the electronic sales.  Publishers need to take note as over half the market seems to be buying eBooks.  Any new releases should be released in both formats as ignoring one or the other will likely result in reduced sales.  Add to this news that libraries across the nation are starting to loan eBooks.  At this rate of growth, I can foresee only select books getting print runs in about 5 years. 

Like it or not, an eBook reader will be required in order to read new releases in the near future.  Like the cell phone, it will be a once luxury item turned neccessity.  So, bow down before your new eReader overlords. 

Full disclosure:  I have a Kindle and I love it.  But only when my 10 year old isn't already loving it.  I might have to buy a second one. 


Anonymous said...

"Like it or not, an eBook reader will be required in order to read new releases in the near future. Like the cell phone, it will be a once luxury item turned neccessity."

I hope not. I love my nook, but all of the poor people who come to my library because they can't afford to but books, computers, or internet access would be shit out of luck.

SteveB said...

I agree with BF -- just like cell phones haven't displaced land-lines for everyone, the ebook won't eliminate print books -- there will likely be just less of a market to support them.

I very much like my kindle -- especially after you pointed me to the cover-draining-battery snafu (Amazon fixed that right away).

During our remodel we went through all our books and I have a to-read shelf of physical books. I wonder if as I pick them off and read them whether more will be added or it will be something of an anachronism.

Budd said...

I have read about libraries that are lending out eReaders as well. The printed book, won't go away, but they will be less available. Print on demand might be where that market goes.

My to read shelf is getting smaller and smaller. I try to read one book from it for every ebook I read. I haven't bought any printed books since getting the Kindle though.

DEZMOND said...

Electronic readers still aren't available in my country, so we are still safe :) I think that this month the first E-book was released in Serbia, but it wasn't a novel or something, but some collection of blog articles. Unlike USA, it will take a lot of time for this new trend to pick up on speed in my area.

Anonymous said...

At the moment (for my library system at least) it is still much more economical to lend out books than ereaders to people who don't have an electronic device to read on. We do lend ebooks, and those are popular. However, the most recent bestselling thriller has 400 holds in print and 10 in eformats.

Also, several publishers don't allow library lending, and HarperCollins just limited each ebook to 26 checkouts so we are not purchasing those anymore. It's too bad, but we can't afford to keep replacing something that would still be there if we had bought the print edition.

I think there will definitely be a day when ebooks are the main format, but I don't think it is right around the corner. The publishing industry has a lot of changing to do first.