It’s a time of mixed emotions for the booklovers of the world. Although reading isn’t totally out of fashion (collective sigh of relief), toting around hard and paperback books seems to be.
According to an article on CNN.com, as of July 2010, Kindle book sales have surpassed hardcover book sales and within six months, Kindle books overtook paperback books to become the most popular format on Amazon.com, the online retailer said. Sales revenues from e-books were up 145.7 percent in March of this year compared with March 2010, according to the Association of American Publishers. This jump actually came as a bit of a shock to Amazon.com.
“Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books. We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly – we’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books less than four years,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, in a statement.
Interestingly, at the same time, adult hardcover sales have increased six percent, while mass market books – less expensive paperbacks – have grown by 1.2 percent.
Personally, I used to despise the idea of reading on an electronic screen. I viewed e-books as the ugly monsters that would eventually end my Sunday outings to the bookstore that got me through the week. I saw it robbing me of indulging in the bookstore’s coffee drinks, whose calories “didn’t count” because they don’t exist on Sundays. (It’s practically biblical.) Eventually I received an e-Reader from my boyfriend and decided if it was good enough for him, or according to Us Weekly, Reese Witherspoon, it was good enough for me. From there I was upgraded to an iPad from my parents and discovered the joys of reading on the elliptical machine at the gym. I also began to consider the more “green” aspects of it. For instance, I could download a variety of books from either iBooks or Kobo, without paying a cent and without wasting paper.
Of course I’ll always buy books. I can’t imagine a world where I wouldn’t do so. (How else can I show off my collection of classic novels that I’m NEVER going to read?) However, I do reserve a special place in my heart now for e-books. So give ‘em a try, book lovers. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Just remember to give your eyes a break every once in a while.
Photo by Marek Kosmal courtesy of http://dreamstime.com