MarketLine Blog

Physical Book Vs. E-Book: Traditional book not ready to die out just yet

There has been much debate in recent years regarding the physical book vs. the e-book. Many commentators have outlined a sad situation in which the traditional book is dying out as the rapidly growing proliferation of digital technology replaces it. However, the situation is not quite as clear-cut as this. While it is undeniable that there have been declining book sales in recent years, this is not necessarily wholly linked to the explosion of e-books in the market.
E-books are undoubtedly a more convenient way to store and carry around books, while the link to e-stores, such as is seen with Amazon’s Kindle, makes choosing and purchasing a book much simpler and easier. As such, this segment of the books market has grown rapidly. However, the physical book is still by far the dominant segment in this market. What’s more, while the physical book sector is witnessing a decline in retail sales value, there is nothing to suggest that this wouldn’t have happened with or without the advent of digital media. Factors such as the driving down of prices and the maturity of this market have contributed to decline.
While there is no denying the importance of e-readers and the uptake at which they have been adopted; this does not necessarily automatically correlate to the death of the book. Often, for those who enjoy reading, it is about the content and not the delivery. What’s more, for some consumers the traditional book is important and can never be replaced by digital media. Similarly, in the case of children’s books, particularly young children, the traditional book will never die out.

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