So, it seems it is time to admit defeat and eat my words, or rather publish them in the digital world, as I am indeed doing. Digital sales of books now represent 15% of UK publishers’ total book sales, following a 97% growth in digital sales from 2011 to 2013 (1). Whilst Paperbacks were still the most widely used formats during 2010-2012 (2) by a large margin, the technological world of reading is clearly developing rapidly. I guess I need to get with the times.
In fact, despite my initial reluctance, I am finally ready to admit that there are so many advantages to reading online... The news is always immediately available, and online publications of journals stop the need for endless trips to the library; I am always relieved when reading lists for my essays include online links and I don’t have to race someone to the UL for the only copy of this week’s reading. I will even confess that while travelling this year I got Kindle envy; whilst I lugged around chunky paperbacks my friend could always fit her device conveniently into her handbag when we popped to the beach for some reading in the sun.
I am aware that my traditional outlook is somewhat reminiscent of my grandparents’ generation, but I’m not sure that I will ever come round to the thinking that eBooks trump paperbacks, though I may finally be considering investing in a Kindle.
(1) Fig.1, The Publishers Association, ‘UK book industry in statistics 2013’ <http://www.publishers.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2717:uk-book-industry-in-statistics-2013&catid=478:statistics-news&Itemid=1523>
(2) Fig. 5.2, Ibid.