Will E-Books Replace the Traditional Paper Back?

Since the introduction of the Kindle on the e-reader market and the increase in tablet sales, many people are now choosing to purchase and read e-books instead of the traditional paperback novel.

Fans of Traditional Paperbacks

Not everybody is a fan of technology, or is able to afford the cost of an e-reader, and for the book lover there is something distinguishably different about holding a plastic device between your fingers and smelling the fresh pages of a new novel and making the first crease in the book's spine.

Printed books can easily be taken on holiday to the beach, near the water and in the bath, whereas e-readers would become severely damaged if dropped in the water or encased in sand. As a past-time some people also like to collect book editions and pass them down to others.

Advantages of E-Readers

E-readers allow users to carry around hundreds of book titles in one slim device that will fit in their bag or coat pocket; making more than one novel easily accessible to read at any given time, whilst saving room in your bag.

When wanting to purchase a new novel or magazine subscription then users can connect to the Internet via wifi and download the item of their choice there and then, rather than having to physically go to a store or to wait for books to be sent in the post.

So, how is the rise in e-book sales affecting the printed book?

Online retailer Amazon, also creator of the popular Kindle e-reader, reported in 2010 that they sold more e-books than paper backs: selling 100 million print books against 115 million e-books for e-readers.

Also, now that newer e-reader models, for example the Kindle Fire, offer readers a full colour HD screen experience and people reading e-books on their tablets can see images in colour, those who were previously buying picture books in print to view images may instead also purchase these genre of books online.

As the demand for technology increases and developments are made it would seem from figures above that e-books may eventually replace sales of the traditional paperback.

How are Bookstores Adapting to this Change?

To compete with e-book sales high-street bookstores are also starting to sell e-readers and e-books. Popular bookstore Waterstones now sell e-readers in their stores, models can also be reserved for collection online, including the whole range of Kindle e-readers.

On their website Waterstones now also sell e-books in both ePUB or PDF format and recommend bestsellers and show the top e-book searches on their site. To keep up with the sale of e-books and e-readers the high-street book chain have cleverly adapted their sales tactic to supply for the emerging e-reader's customer demand.

Future of Printed Books?

It is impossible to predict what will happen to printed books, but from the increase in sales of e-books and them outselling sales of the traditional paperback, printed books may become collectors’ items and bought as an investment rather than for reading.

However, there will always be those who prefer the feel of a real book over an e-reader, so we don't think that they will die out just yet.

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