Is the future bright for print?

Surveys show continued preference for traditional publishing over e-books

At Folio, we firmly believe there is no replacement for the beauty of a printed book. In the wider world, however, things are viewed differently. Amazon has recently announced that sales of e-books are now outstripping sales of hardback books. So what is the truth behind this apparent shift away from traditional print?

The recent decision by News International to start charging for access to its online news content via The Times and The Sunday Times sparked controversy. Yet, according to a survey reported in The Guardian, an overwhelming 77% of respondents said they would not pay for news online, 29% because they preferred the physical newspaper.

Another survey, reported on CNN, found that reading e-books took longer - and was considered less enjoyable - than reading traditional books, unsurprising when so many people spend their days staring at computer screens. Perhaps printed words offer welcome respite from the constant digital glare. The Mashable internet news blog recorded that 42% of voters in its survey opted for printed books against just 23% preferring e-books. Interestingly, though, there was a sizeable minority of almost 35% that would choose either format. So the e-book is here to stay, although it's safe to say that one of the reasons for its sudden jump in popularity is the recent launch of the Apple iPad.

Perhaps the paperback will eventually be replaced by the e-book, but rest assured, The Folio Society will stay true to the printed word. A recent assessment of Folio books on the Private Library Blog, passionate about the traditional craft of wood-engraving, goes some way to explaining why: 'only a few publishers have continued this noble tradition at a price most book collectors can afford. One of those publishers is The Folio Society' ... Click here to read the blog.

last modified: Mon, Sep 12th 2011Bookmark and Share
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