In 2012, Amazon.com began selling more e-books than print books for the first time ever. Along with the decline of the once-mighty Barnes & Noble super store, the forecast looked pretty bleak for those addicted to the tactile feel of physical books. A closer look at the numbers, however, reveals that hardcover and paperback books are further from extinction than we might have thought.
According to License Direct, there are a number of reasons to be optimistic about the future of the book. The professional license database has put together an infographic that culls data from several sources that attest to the public’s stubborn fondness of print. After a prolonged explosion of e-book sales once the early adopters gave way to the regular adopters, the growth in e-books has apparently slowed down. Meanwhile, hardcover book sales were up 10% in the first 8 months of 2013, as compared to 4.8% for e-books.
The infographic also offers a number of statistics to differentiate what is happening in the book industry from what we saw happen to the music industry. It seems as though people seem to use e-books as an alternative or a substitute for printed books, as opposed to MP3s, which have flat-out replaced CDs for many music fans. And while e-books do continue to sell, there’s good news about what digital readers are buying: lots of books from indie publishers.
Is it only a matter of time before printed books become rarities? Let us know in the comments.