Books are back. Only the technodazzled thought they would go away. The hysterical cheerleaders of the e-book failed to account for human experience, and publishers blindly followed suit. But the novelty has worn off.
Observers noted the early signs as Kindle sales initially outstripped hardbacks but have slid fast since 2011. Sony killed off its e-readers. Waterstones last year stopped selling Kindles and e-books outside the UK, switched shelf space to books. Amazon has opened its first bookshop. Now the official Publishers’ Association confirms the trend. Last year digital content sales fell last year from £563m to £554m. After years on a plateau, physical book sales turned up, from £2.74bn to £2.76bn.
Since the days of Gutenberg, Print has shown strong powers of longevity. Can it continue to fight off the Dark Side or is this upturn in book sales only temporary? Are there trending apps or new apps on the horizon that can turn the tide for the e-book?