E-books threaten sale of paperbacks

E-Book sales have overtaken paperback sales on Amazon’s United States site and this years Man booker prize judging panel have been issued with E-readers.

Since the dawn of time, humans have constantly upgraded themselves to suit the changes in the world.  From caves in the jungles, we moved on to concrete buildings, from leather skins as clothes we went to haute couture. Is the replacement for the printed book the virtual book?

E-book readers allow readers to carry around 20, 000 books in their pockets. Sales of e-Books are steadily increasing as the variety and convenience they provide is higher than a real book. US Amazon’s latest financial report reads that for every 100 paperbacks 120 e-books were sold.*

To read E-books e-book readers are not necessary. Phones like the I-phone and other smartphones have applications that allow readers to read books on their devices. In this case having virtual books opens you up to a on- the -go library, a luxury heavy real books provide.

According to 21 year old reader Kamakshi Ayyar,”E-books are great obviously, considering the amount of paper we save.” Another factor that contributes to eBooks being more appealing is the fact that even without an e-book reader one can download books onto a computer or a mobile phone and read it conveniently .Some sites offer free downloads on books and many virtual books are available at lower prices than paperbacks.

There does seem to be an argument in favour of the printed word. Writer Jan Swafford writes, “People perceive written word differently than the one they see on a screen. My first drafts look good on screen but on paper, after what amount to several drafts on computer, look like a battlefield.”

The UK still lags behind the United States in terms of purchasing e-books. Publishers are trying to figure out the future but those at the Digital book world conference 2011 predict 2014 to be the year when e-books finally overtake the printed books.

Readers however insist that real books will never die. Reader Ramya Menon says, “There is a threat to lovely books from these sleek electronic contraptions but personally I would never give up the thrill of reading a real book. The smell of the pages is oddly comforting.”



* http://www.independant.co.uk

* http://www.slate.com

Published in: on February 19, 2011 at 7:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

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