Demand for physical books is growing again

physical booksHave e-readers already reached a peak in popularity? Not so long ago, the advent of the electronic reading devices sent shockwaves through the publishing world. But the anticipated new normal of screen-only reading is not yet upon us. In fact, though sales of e-readers grew initially, sales are now falling sharply. According to Waterstones, sales of the Kindle have “disappeared to all intents and purposes”, the Financial Times reports.

Over the Christmas period, demand for physical books grew by 5% while sales of e-readers nose-dived over the same period. Of course, during the Christmas shopping season it might be expected that more physical books are bought as gifts than a much more costly gadget. However, Kindle sales have been falling steadily, suggesting the popularity of such e-readers may have peaked.

The Kindle was launched in 2007 and sales peaked in 2011 with 13.44m sales, according to Forbes. This was followed by a decline in 2012 when sales reached 9.68m. The following year roughly the same number was sold. Forbes estimates that in total 30m Kindle e-readers are currently in use. In 2013, consumers spent a total of £2.2bn on physical books, but just £300m on e-books, according to market research company Nielsen. Meanwhile, the bookshop chain Foyles has reported a surge in sales of physical books, and in America, Barnes & Noble, the country’s largest book retailer, is looking to spin off its Nook e-reader business, the Telegraph reports. Waterstones itself is also planning to expand. The company has announced that it will open at least a dozen new shops this year, flying in the face of a growing number of consumers buying physical books online. Perhaps it will emerge that e-reader devices can live in peace and tranquillity alongside physical books.

When it comes to storing physical books Herok have the answer. We manufacture sturdy Kinderboxes, book trolleys, library shelving, book and media spinners, book displays and reading corners in a great range of colours. See for further details of all of our school library furniture products.