Books · Digital · Life · News

News: Books are back!

Real books are having something of a resurgence with sales climbing while e-reader profits dwindle. There’s plenty of speculation as to why.

Subscription services have taken a chunk of profit from e-books?

People are downloading less commercial books instead of expensive digital releases?

The novelty has worn off?

Whatever the business sense, I think the truth is simpler, they just don’t enrich our lives. E-readers offer slightly more convenience, but not anymore enjoyment. This could prove fatal in a society that values experiences over ownership.

We spend our money on weekends away and days out. All whilst operating more frugally, (most of the time,) renting and borrowing instead of buying. There has been a move towards small indulgences over larger investments. All of which makes e-readers at odds with our current lifestyles.

Books fit perfectly into our moment to moment mentality. They offer us an opportunity to experience reading in a tangible way. We pass copies on to our friends. Buy them for ourselves as an affordable luxury. Find old books we haven’t got around to reading and take them out for coffee. We thrive on these smaller moments and they give us the opportunity to interact away from a screen. This is worth its weight in gold and retailers know it.

You can pass or fail a business on the basis of whether it offers customers more than just a product. This thinking in our shops, magazines and advertising but it isn’t built into the design of our e-books. They need to be social without being invasive, interactive without being distracting and offer us more than what we already have in our libraries. The technology exists and we use it in other forms daily. Imagine if you could tag your friends on certain chapters, so when they’re reading you can warning them of the trauma ahead. You could finish a book and digitally fling it to someone else, letting them know why you think it’s brilliant. You could have an interactive library that allows certain people to pick up your books and read them. There’s the opportunity to develop the e-reader in new and fantastic ways all whilst seizing back some of that market share. The question is will manufacturers adapt, or could this be the beginning of the end for the e-reader?

What features would you love to see?
Do you have one and love it?
If not what would sway you to change your allegiance?

Let me know in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “News: Books are back!

  1. My sense is that price pays a bigger part in all this than emotion. Ever since the publishers did away with Amazon discounts and started to set e-book prices — very high — is when the ‘decline’ started. And now it has become a bona fide trend. But as consumers we are losing on the option of affordable ebooks from traditional publishing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true, I’m all heart on this, but the publishers definitely have a lot to answer for. They should have trusted that actually, retailers know their customers and what they’re willing to pay. A lot more needs to be done now to make e-books competitive for consumers. Especially given that the affordable alternative to e-books already exists. Lets hope they see the error of their ways and give us back what we want!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hadn’t known e-sales were flagging. I love both print and e-books, for the same reasons everyone else does, and I’m usually reading one of each at all times. I personally don’t buy e-books, though, because the price is far too high considering they don’t have costs of paper,printing, shipping, warehousing, etc, and for all that, they’re riddled with mistakes. Drives me crazy. What I’d most like to see is the ability to trade and loan e-books with my friends. One per month, AmazonPrime, are you kidding me? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do see the appeal of Ebooks, very light & portable. I’ve still not invested yet, they’ll stop making them by the time I’ve got one 😂 you’re right, the titles are far too expensive. Especially when you can borrow them for free or pick them up second hand for pence!

      Like

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