Despite the increase in popularity of ebooks in recent years, print books still enjoy the upper hand in terms of volume of sales. And in fact, they do so by a pretty wide margin, according to a recent survey by Nielsen Books & Consumer.
The survey, which looked at sales of print and ebooks over the first 6 months of 2014, found that sales of paperback and hardback books combined to make up 67% of the market, while ebooks made up only 23%. Not only that, but individually, hardback sales and paperback sales both outsold ebooks, at 25% and 42% respectively.
These numbers suggest that the book market may be stabilizing after ebooks took off in the late 2000s. After several years of double and triple digit growth in sales, ebook sales in 2013 slowed to single digits.
Why the shift? Several theories have been proposed. Industry experts note that diversity in medium and format is good for the market as a whole. Plus, books have a longstanding history and cultural significance that makes them hard to replace. Furthermore, readers who adopted ebooks early on are finding that there are some negatives aspects of the format. Evidence has suggested that reading physical books promotes a better understanding and memory of the text and an overall ability to read and focus more deeply on the text.
Another interesting fact of note is the way book buyers find the books they purchase. Nielsen’s survey reported that the most common method of finding a book to buy was by perusing in-store displays at bookstores. 12% of book buyers reported using this method to find books. The second most common method? Hearing about a good read from a friend or family member, which 10% of book buyers reported doing.
Advantage Book Binding has been in the book binding business since 1985, when we were founded on the principle “we do a quality book on time.” Since then we’ve seen plenty of changes both in and out of the industry. While some have sounded the death knell for books and other physical media, we believe that the fact that we continue to be an industry leader into the 21st century is a testament not only to our longevity as a company but to that of our craft. We think it’s important to keep books and physical media on the shelves, which is why we dedicate ourselves to providing you with the highest quality book binding and post press services available.
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