E-Readers Set To Beat Books



Every morning I’m locked in a cell and forced to extend my social reach for a couple of hours, twimbling about on this website and on other media nets, and have long used Facebook as a sort of silliness catchall – largely for the shop windows I have a habit of snapping on my travels.

From now on, though, I’ve opened my Facebook page to make it more accessible – just look for Chris Fowler to find me, and you won’t have to go through the friending rigmarole now. Naturally if you want to send me your lovely spam – ‘How To Make Money’ from China, ‘Meet Stunning Girls’ from Russian, ‘Praise The Lord’ and ‘Buying Guns’ from America all seem to feature heavily in my spam-net – please direct your mail to JK Rowling or Terry Pratchett instead.

Meanwhile I do find the odd moment to actually read, you know, like a real book-type thing, and just took this shot for an upcoming ‘Shelfie’ feature in the Independent. The editor asked where I got the book-ends – well, they’re from Vincon again (God, I feel like I should be getting paid for plugging that store) and are designed specifically for paperbacks.

But today comes shocking news – according to a new report the ebook is on course to overtake the paperback and hardback as the preferred format for British reading within four years. The UK consumer ebook market (which excludes professional and educational books) will triple from £380m to £1bn in a veritable Golden Age of reading.

The new consumption pattern is interesting. Ebook readers like to pre-order or get it quickly, so ebook sales are particularly high in the first few weeks. The bottom line is that more books are being read. And that can only be a good thing.



11 comments on “E-Readers Set To Beat Books”

  1. Hi Christopher,

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  2. Wayne says:

    Ebooks are all well and good, but those “Special” books need to be on paper. You know the ones I am talking about, those from a particular Author that you want to keep and cherish, that maybe they have signed for you and so have a direct connection to the Author.

    But yes it is good that more people are reading more. Oh and what’s this Facebook thing about? Never heard of that before 😉

  3. Peter Lee says:

    I’ve been a Kindle owner for several years now but I still read and buy as many “real” books as e-books. The Kindle is great for when I’m travelling – gone are the days when I went away for a fortnight and half of my suitcase was taken up with paperbacks – but there are still authors whose books I buy exclusively as paper or hardbacks, and some for whom I buy the ebook as well. I’m one of those people who regularly seems to get slapped down on Amazon’s forums for saying it would be great if when you bought a paperback or a hardback of a book from there you could also get the ebook for an extra quid or so. I’m not asking for the same kind of thing you get with CDs from Amazon, where the MP3s are added to your cloud account for free in many cases (although that would be nice) – I’d be happy to pay a pound or so for the ebook as an immediate download if the real book would be following a few days later to go on my bookshelf.

    Incidentally, any news on when your old books are going to be heading for the Kindle, Admin? I’d love to read the likes of “Roofworld” again, but I’m terrified my paperback will fall to bits if I take it off my shelf as it’s looking a bit worn now. Oh, don’t worry about reissuing “The Ultimate Party Book” and “How To Impersonate Famous People” by the way – my paperbacks of those are fine 🙂

  4. Wayne says:

    Yes Peter, my copy of Disturbia has started to fall apart, I had the first few pages fall to the floor as I opened it up for its last outing. Curiously though my copies “The Ultimate Party Book” and “How To Impersonate Famouse People” Are both like new even today;)

  5. admin says:

    Wayne, I will pay you to burn both of those. We won’t even speak of them again. I was young & dumb. Now I’m just dumb.

  6. Helen Martin says:

    I must see if I can find a copy of How to Impersonate…

  7. snowy says:

    Getting a free e-copy with the purchase of a new book will come before the end of the decade, probably sooner. Even if the big publishers don’t like the idea, all it would take is a certain big on-line retailer to bundle the two together.

    It could be messy, if publishers don’t like it and prevent physical book shops doing the same. Independent book shops who can’t offer the same service at the same time will suffer.

  8. m says:

    I like Peter’s idea very much. I still prefer reading paper books for most reading except maybe cookbooks and travel guides. I love dragging around ratty mass market paperbacks. My battered copy of Full Dark House has now been to London.

  9. Wayne says:

    Well Admin, I guess if you feel that strongly about them. Enough said 😉

    Helen, there are some copies on Amazon UK at a penny plus post, if you want to risk it! The book is like nothing else admin has written.

  10. Peter Lee says:

    “The Ultimate Party Book” also features numerous drawings of Admin with a ‘tache. It and “How To Impersonate Famous People” are worth seeking out if you want a laugh 🙂

  11. Debra Matheney says:

    I have had 2 Kindles. The first died as it would no longer charge up. The second went off line and the fix was worse than not having an e-reader in then first place so I am happily back to real books. I suspect one day to find I can only buy electronic editions of some book I want and I will have to get another.

    Please bear in mind that the research shows we retain what we read from real books better than from ebooks just as hand written notes in a class are also better retained than ones taken on a lap top.

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