November 26, 2015
Seven years ago the sky was falling in the publishing world; book sales dropped as consumers were migrating to e-readers. Soon it seemed like almost every one you knew had one. You couldn’t get on a bus or walk through the airport without seeing an e-reader.
At the same time, true book lovers couldn’t fathom technology replacing the tangible, sensual experience of a printed book. But it seemed they were in the minority.
Fast forward to today, and the death of the printed page was actually greatly exaggerated. E-reader sales have plateaued and even dipped. While book sales have roared back and sales are growing.
Are you surprised? We aren’t.
So, why is the printed book making a comeback? In my humble opinion, print is coming back because great reading is a tactile experience. People like being close with other people and with things we can hold, stories are no different. There is a closeness that you achieve with a book that is hard to achieve with a tablet.
Secondly I think the world likes books because they are simple. There is no need for an instruction manual, or colour coded buttons so you can remember how to turn it on or find a new book to read. All you need to do is walk to the shelf and pull out the first book that catches your eye.
My personal favourite reason to read a printed book instead of a digital book is the smell. The smell of a freshly printed book is something you never forget! When is the last time you stopped to smell your tablet…probably never.
As you may have been able to tell, I am a fan of the printed book…which is good because I work for a book printing company. But even beyond that, I believe in all the things the printed book stands for; tangible communication, focused interaction, personal experiences, and less technology.
However, wherever you stand on the subject; whether you like the latest book gadgets or get lost for hours in a book store, we can all agree on one thing. Books are the heart of who we are as humans. Why? Well because we tell stories, we want to know more about who came before us and ensure that the future generations remember who we were and what we stood for. Humans were made to tell stories and share knowledge. There is no better way to do that than through books, whether printed or digital, as long as you read lots and read often.
“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library” – Albert Einstein
The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip and Print is Far from Dead – NY Times