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Digital book sales have risen by 54% in the past year and are now worth £243m to the publishing industry.

Figures released by the Publishers' Association (PA) showed the market for e-books, downloads and online subscriptions had more than trebled since 2007, when it was worth £74m.

Digital content now accounts for 8% of the total value of book sales in 2011 - it made up 5% in 2010.

However, total book sales fell by 2%, with the market worth £3.2bn.

Physical book sales dropped 5% to £3bn, according to the PA Statistical Yearbook.

"The story of the year is a decline in physical sales almost being compensated for by a strong performance in digital," said chief executive Richard Mollett.

"That said, physical books remain the format of choice for the vast majority of British readers, underlining the continued importance of the high street sector," he added.

However, the report noted, the number of high street book stores had almost halved in the last six years - with roughly 2,000 shops closing since 2006.

David Nicholls' One Day was the number one print title for 2011 overall, selling nearly one million copies.

Dawn French's first novel, A Tiny Bit Marvellous, was the second best-selling fiction paperback, with 459,000 copies purchased; followed by Emma Donoghue's Room on 418,00.

In the non-fiction category, Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals was the best-seller for the second year in a row, with more than half a million copies sold.

The yearbook also noted that sales of children's books had fallen by 19% since 2007, when the final Harry Potter novel was published.
BBC News - E-book sales grew by 54% in 2011
 

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Maid of Time
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Does popularity really matter in terms of sales, if it's not popular enough to purchase?

I have a Kindle I bought for Christmas but not many books on it yet. The main reason I like the Kindle is for vacations/trips, where I just can't cart around a bunch of books with me easily. However, i still very much like tangible books, in terms of their feel and presence and reading them and keeping them around the house. I think the determining factor, then, in me buying an eBook vs a regular book would be price. If I only have to spend $3-5 for an eBook vs $18-20 for a regular book, I'd strongly consider buying the eBook.
 

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I have the Kindle app in my Android phone, since it's smaller than the Kindle device I can carry it everywhere, unlike what happens to @Jennywocky.

There is a significant difference on price between physical and e-Book, and that has made me decide that from now on I will only order RPG hardcover books from Amazon and the rest from the Kindle Store. I have two reasons for this, first I have to wait at least a month for the books to arrive at my home (Argentina), or pay a lot of money for fast delivery. Second, there is currently a ban on almost every imported product in Argentina, courtesy of the lousy Argentinian government, desperate to blame everybody for their awful policies.

So for both reasons I decided to buy any other book except RPG books on kindle. Argentina's government can't control internet after all.
 

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The bottle neck on e-books are the reading devices. As the devices themselves become more affordable the growth of e-books will rise also. It takes about 5-10 book purchases to make up the cost of a reading device. The devices are absolutely great for publishers since they are impulse buys. What I'd find even more interesting is the sale number of apps, music & video that are bought from the e-reader devices.
 

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Maid of Time
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The bottle neck on e-books are the reading devices. As the devices themselves become more affordable the growth of e-books will rise also. It takes about 5-10 book purchases to make up the cost of a reading device. The devices are absolutely great for publishers since they are impulse buys. What I'd find even more interesting is the sale number of apps, music & video that are bought from the e-reader devices.
What I like to do is actually skim any daily/weekly deals on eBooks (like on Amazon), since the savings are pretty significant. I might not want to shell out $10 for an eBook, but I've found decent offerings/deals where books were only $2-3.
 
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E-books are great. A torrent download usually saves me from a trip to the library.
But I prefer to hold a book in my hands, computer screen/ipad sometimes makes my eyes tired. :/
 

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I still go to libraries and rent physical books, but my Nook has revitalized reading for me. I’m constantly downloading cheap and free e-books, listening to audio tapes and playing chess, on my e-reader. It’s one of the most practical and useful inventions I have ever used for reading. My eyes don’t hurt like with the computer. I highlight textual passages, bookmark pages, and choose from a multitude of books. My Nook is essentially a library that I can carry around easily. I have noticed that I am reading way more books at one time than ever before. However, I normally am into non-fiction, so it’s no problem for me to read a chapter from a science text book, switch to a chapter from a history text book, and so on. And if I ever lose my e-reader, I have a warranty to get a replacement, while my downloaded-books are saved to my account on the internet. Believe me, I’ve lost my e-reader on a few occasions, but always recovered everything. I do miss the feel of book stores, but most people usually went there to read a book, take a shit, and leave, instead of buying anything.
 
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I recently used my friend's ipad for a week and noticed how nice it was to lay in bed and do research - very much reminded me of how I read books! I watch so many documentaries and do research online that I really haven't sat down with a good book for some time. I noticed though that the mobility of an ipad was much like a book so I actually downloaded a few free e-books and thought it was great.

One reason why I have come to dislike physical books is because of moving, and acknowledging how I haven't picked up certain books in years. I am definitely a supporter of digital literature, or at the least, checking out books from the public library.

But I will admit 54% is a colossal jump!
 

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They're especially nice for those like me, who love reading, but who for some reason are afflicted with the mysterious cover-curling disease!

Help-for-a-Shelf-worn-Paperback.jpg

I can honestly say that I now spend way more on books than I did before buying an E-reader because now buying books is just so easy.
 

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I prefer having an e-reader, not because of the pirated downloads *coughs* because it's so much easier to carry around a bunch of books.
 

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As someone who works in a bookstore (and previously worked in a bookstore that went bankrupt and had to close down), I tend to disfavour eBooks. I can see the benefits, though. They're definitely cheaper and easier to port around. But for the sake of my job, please buy regular books. *sad eyes* :p
 
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I disapprove mightily. I suppose I'm just being old fashioned at 20 years old but books should be made of paper and ink! You should be able to feel and see an actual object in your hand, not just a download onto your magic screen. And you should be able to spill coffee on them, and then have to go through the madness of prying apart the individual pages if it's a book that you love.

Where is your passion people???

/End rant.
 

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Personally, I find that really sad. I love books and will always prefer to have a paper book than some electronic device. Just something special about them. Would hate to see a world with out libraries, book stores, both new and used. I hope we always have books availible in paper.
 
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I can honestly say that I now spend way more on books than I did before buying an E-reader because now buying books is just so easy.
It is really interesting to think that e-books may actually entice people to read more! I agree-- I have not been to a bookstore in so long, but being able to brief through e-books online really simplified the task of finding books that appeal to me, ultimately enticing me to read more.

It is also amazing to think about the future of textbooks for students. Ah yes, the future of back pain relief...
 

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Sadly, I think many people didn't notice that we're in a state of "futureshock," a terminology coined by Alvin Toffler as "too much change in too short a period of time."

I didn't mean to derail this thread, but it's interesting to see how my 9th grader English teacher argued passionately that books will never be replaced through digital revolution because humans are too accustomed by the sensation of physical touch when we flip over the pages from the books.


Anyhow, any recommendation for E-reader dummy like me as I can no longer afford to cover international shippings costs.
 

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[...] it's interesting to see how my 9th grader English teacher argued passionately that books will never be replaced through digital revolution because humans are too accustomed by the sensation of physical touch when we flip over the pages from the books.
I admire your teacher's passion. :D One would hope that physical books are never replaced, but it's not a certainty. We're definitely heading that way. And the future generations to come will never know what it's actually like to hold a real book, and therefore will not miss that sensory experience.

I honestly dread the idea of telling future children: "In my day, there was a thing called a bookstore where you could purchase books printed and bound on paper!" That just breaks my heart. :(
 
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