Books bounce back

book-whirlpool-ivanpaisBloody brilliant – books are regaining some of their popularity!

A decade after Amazon’s Kindle e-reader undermined the publishing world as we knew it, hardbacks and paperbacks are gaining a new lease on life.

Remarkably enough, it appears to be Amazon’s determination to brutally maximise profit-taking that has rekindled our love of the hard-copy printed word.

Avid bookworms who initially dabbled with backlit screen reading lost their appetite when prices of e-books stopped being forcibly discounted and rose to parity with hard copy versions.

It has been suggested the pricing equivalency resulted from a kind of Mexican stand-off between the world’s five major publishing houses and Amazon. Neither side could stomach any further discounting in a battle for marketshare that had no end in sight.

It’s reported that e-books have dipped in popularity while sales of print books in America have risen by 3%. The change is not earth-shattering but it appears significant.

While the percentages may seem slender, the reality is that Amazon last year sold 35 million more hard copy books than digital versions.

But while this is very comforting to those of us who love holding a book in our hands, you can bet that the return to authors hasn’t increased a cent.

Some things never change.

Image: IvanPais