James Daunt, Chief Executive of the Waternstones book retailer discussed the increase in paperback book sales on BBC Radio 5Live and why he feels the resurgence is taking place. With sales of printed books up 5% it seems the erosion of the market to eBooks on devices like the Kindle has halted, so why are people choosing to buy a traditionally printed book?
Daunt suggested an emotional connection between a physical book that cannot be replicated digitally. This aspect of tangibility seems to integrate a stronger sense of ownership, of greater value and ultimately the same content is somehow richer in a printed format. Yes, devices like the Kindle can put your entire reading collection in your pocket, but your bookcase would look rather empty with just a single tablet device occupying the shelves.
Print has some advantages that shouldn’t be taken for granted and in a digital age a physically printed item carries value beyond the content itself. With digital printing technology enabling high quality and short print volumes it is now easier than ever to offer both digital and printed content and gain the best of both worlds.
These are turbulent times for print but where print can add value to content, people prefer something they can hold and keep – if anything that is what these figures prove. You can listen to the BBC 5Live podcasts here http://bbc.in/1Q3VXsE on the BBC 5Live website.