Books: Dead or alive?

Will physical books survive recent E-book surge?

Change in format doesn’t mean that books are dead; reading may actually be increasing

“It’s a real page turner.” The line everyone uses to describe a book that just can’t be put down. The action of turning the page at a suspenseful moment in a book is now being altered by the use of e-books. Instead of licking your finger to be able to turn pages readers are now flicking their fingers across a screen.

The act of purchasing and reading books, magazines and more has been on the rise ever since devices such as the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook have been released.

Brian Clark Howard of National Geographic News wrote that in 2010 eight percent of the book market belonged to e-books. That rose to 15 percent in 2011. In his article, Howard writes that in 2012 e-books are expected to be 20 percent of the book market and 75 percent by 2025.

A recent study at Pew Research Center shows that in the past year the average e-book reader has read 24 books whereas the average non-e-book reader has read 15 books. The study also showed that 30 percent of people who use e-readers say that they spend more time reading now.

Although e-books are on the rise many book stores are still pulling through “Statistics nationally show that people who read e-books are also likely to buy several print books each year” said Jay D. Peterson, manager of Magers and Quinn Booksellers.

One reason that certain bookstores are not being affected as much is because they have something special to offer. For Magers and Quinn Booksellers it’s the fact that they not only sell new books but also used and discounted books as well. The benefit of selling used or discounted books is that the prices “are often competitive with e-book prices,” said Peterson. For an Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook the price of a book can be anywhere between $1.99 and $29.99 depending on what book is being purchased.

However, is it worth it to spend a whole lot of money on one of these devices? A Kindle’s price range is between $79 and $379 whereas as the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet ranges between $199 or $249.  However these devices are available for more than just reading books. There are games that are available along with music and many other features.

Freshman Rita Hammer says that being able to go on the Internet is her favorite feature about her Kindle.

Having games, internet, and music available allows an e-book device to appeal to kids and teenagers as well as adults.

Although the future remains unknown about how bookstores will have to compete with the selling of e-books the fact is that many people have been switching over to reading on e-book devices instead of buying real books.

The many features it offers including music, Internet, and a huge variety of apps makes not only adults want to have one but also kids. This may make it hard for bookstores that don’t have their books available on an e-book to continue selling books in 2025 if e-books are 75 percent of the book market as it is expected to be.


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