Ebooks Down, Book-Book Sales Up

By Gary Cutlack on at

Sales of electronic versions of books for ereaders, tablets and besieged smartphones have fallen for the first time in years, with publishing experts blaming the nation's overwhelming number of screens for a huge 17 per cent drop in consumer ebook sales.

Reading a normal book is a rest from notifications and staring in awe at featureless rectangles like the monkeys from 2001 all day, they say, and as such sales of new releases in paper form rose over the last year. The rise was fuelled by a boom in the world of non-fiction books, apparently, as sales in cooking, biography and Harry Potter grew thanks in part to being easy things to give people as presents. An Amazon voucher just isn't the same.

Print sales of consumer books across all categories were up by nine per cent overall, although there's bad news for the fiction category, which continues a five-year decline and is now selling around 25 per cent fewer books than five years ago. It seems books are for learning, cooking or reading about the troubled childhoods of celebrities now, with pretend stories best enjoyed on TV. [Publisher's Association via Guardian]


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