More E-Books Sold than Print, says Amazon

With the news that in the UK, for the first time ever, more e-books are sold per month than print books. This has rekindled the debate of e-ink vs printer ink, but added a new dimension to the discussion, as it seems that Kindles are helping to create a ‘reading renaissance’.

Illustration: James Joyce for Metropolis Mag

As a Kindle owner, I am not sure if I am buying more books since having it, but I am definitely reading more. I love print books, the new and the old and all their smells they muster. I especially have a penchant for books with funny titles, gorgeous spines or funny 1980’s covers. However, these purchases in charity shops rarely lead me to actually reading. Buying a new paperback from Waterstones or at a train station always seems extravagant, too costly and spontaneous. What happens if it’s a bad book? Can I afford to spend £15 on this when I could just read the free newspaper?

However, Kindle prices are cheaper, and contain reviews from fellow readers, not just snappy lines from The Times. The opportunity to sample is my favourite part of Kindle; I can read around, try out as many as I like until  find one that hooks me so I have to buy it. By then, I’m settled into a good book and will read it to the end. Amazon have argued that the price shouldn’t be a factor, as you can often get books for 1p, but this process requires postage costs, and can take weeks as they are often from distant lands. Whereas lots Kindle books are free.

I will never stop buying old books, and if I love a book enough to read it more than once on my Kindle, I’ll buy it in print so I have a copy of it, like my CD and vinyl collection. I understand e-readers are not for everyone, but I surprised myself with how much more I have read since having it. I have always considered a book lover, without realizing I had stopped reading fiction (for fun) some time during my Literature degree. It feels great to be lost in a different world.

What do you think? Are print books the sworn enemy of e-readers? Do you find you read more/less/the same? What’s the future for literature?

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2 thoughts on “More E-Books Sold than Print, says Amazon

  1. I have to agree with Stephen King on this one. He said, “Books are no more threatened by e-readers than stairs are threatened by escalators.” I think that they’re just another option to make reading more available, and make reading something exciting. I don’t necessarily believe they will take over print.

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