Peak digital is at hand.
The ultimate disruptor of the new information age is … wait for it … the book.
Shrewd observers noted the early signs. Kindle sales initially outstripped hardbacks but have slid fast since 2011. Sony killed off its e-readers. Waterstones last year stopped selling Kindles and e-books outside the UK, switched shelf space to books and saw a 5% rise in sales.Amazon has opened its first bookshop.
Now the official Publishers’ Association confirms the trend.
Last year digital content sales fell last year from £563m to £554m.
After years on a plateau, physical book sales turned up, from £2.74bn to £2.76bn.
They have been boosted by the marketing of colouring and lifestyle titles, but there is always a reason.
The truth is that digital readers were never remotely in the same ballpark. The PA regards the evidence as unmistakable, “Readers take a pleasure in a physical book that does not translate well on to digital.”
Virtual books, like virtual holidays or virtual relationships, are not real.
People want a break from another damned screen.
What went wrong?
Clearly publishing, like other industries before (and since), suffered a bad attack of technodazzle: It failed to distinguish between newness and value. It could read digital’s hysterical cheerleaders, but not predict how a market of human beings would respond to a product once the novelty had passed. It ignored human nature.
Reading the meaning of words is not consuming a manufacture: it is experience.
My point: i have to admit: a true reading experience is creating an encounter with a paper object. For me, because digital implies speed and a lack of interaction and reflection. Anyway, the title is lala, it should be about reading paper books…..