Peter Preston, "The future of reading: iPad, Kindle … and hardback"
"It's not a surprise that ebooks are booming, nor that mass-market paperbacks are suffering. What's fascinating is how well hardback books are still selling.
Can it be good news or bad news that the six Booker prize contenders have already sold a record 37,500 copies, some 127% more than 2010's chosen sextet managed last year? Bad news, sniff some, because high-minded quality ought to come first. Good news, say bookstore owners, beaming all the way to the bank and getting ready for a Jamie Oliver Christmas bonanza. But maybe the crispest conclusion is simply that this is fascinating news. Because the last time I looked, traditional books, involving words printed on paper, were supposed to be dying as the tornado of digital destruction swept on.
Monstrous gloom is still easy to find, sure enough. Take the latest book sales revenue statistics – for June – from the Association of American Publishers. They show adult paperback cash sliding by an eye-watering 63.8% in 12 months, nearly $85m gone missing. And hardcover sales are down 25.4%, too, while ebooks, via Kindle, iPad and Nook, boom away, up 167% for the month, a $50m rise." Read the full post
"If this is the valley of destruction, then many publishers can begin to glimpse distant sunlit uplands. People haven't stopped reading fiction or non-fiction, or paying for what they read. On the contrary, via both Kindle and printed page, they're reading as much as ever. The book isn't dead. The novel isn't dead, either."