Monday, December 3, 2012

Effects of ereaders

While it may seem that e-readers have a largely negative effect on bookstores and authors, this may no be the case. It is true that bookstore sales have been declining over the past couple years and that some small bookstores are struggling to survive, the numbers aren't as bad as I expected prior to some research. Bookselling remains a billion dollar industry and the decline in sales can be contributed to not just the rise of e-readers, but also the closing of Borders. With Borders closing down, I think it has allowed for smaller bookstores to step in its place and find success, as well as bookstores that have developed a niche market. Coming from Austin, there are many places like this that seem to be doing well, in particular a bookstore called BookPeople. And while the emergence of Kindle, the Nook, and the Ipad seem to be destroying the sales of books, printed books are still number 1, with 72% of American adults reading a printed book last year. This is significantly larger than the amount of people who admitted to reading an eBook, at 21%. With that being said, I think there will always be a market for physical copies of books because for some, there are certain advantages in a printed copy. One advantage of a book is that the cost is a lot lower than purchasing a Kindle. If a person wants a single specific book, it makes more since for them to go find it for 5 or 10 dollars at a bookstore rather than going to buy a full piece of technology for upwards of 150-200 dollars. Also, another advantage that books have is that they are easier to take on the go. While I admit that the eReaders are small and convenient, books can be stuffed in a purse or backpack and can be taken anywhere, including outside, a luxury that those with Ebooks can not enjoy. 
While I am highlighting why eReaders will not completely wipe out the bookselling market, I obviously recognize the facts. However, I think it's important to look at the issue from both sides and personally, I feel that eReaders, while significantly effecting the market, still can not bring an end to physical books.

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