Here's Why The Printed Book Will Probably Never Die


With the rise of e-readers like Amazon's Kindle and other tablets that make it easy to carry a lot of books around, many say that e-books will eventually kill printed books altogether.


But as Nicholas Carr of The Wall Street Journal writes, it's looking like traditional books are going to be around for a long while, and maybe forever.

He argues that e-books are probably best suited to complement traditional reading, rather than totally replace it.

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Here's the biggest reason: 59% of Americans have no interest in buying an e-book, according to 2012 survey by Bowker Market Research.

But he's also assembled a bunch of other surveys that, taken together, show how the printed book isn't on its deathbeds, yet:


  • Growth in e-books sales is slowing down. E-reader sales dropped 36% in 2012, according to estimates from IHS iSuppli. (However, Carr attributes this to the shift from e-readers to tablets)
  • 89% of regular book readers read at least one printed book in the last 12 months, according to a recent Pew study
  • Only 30% of those regular book readers read at least one e-book
  • Nearly 90% of e-book readers also read physical books, according to Pew
  • The annual growth rate for e-books fell to 34% in 2012, according to the Association of American Publishers
  • Readers who like literary fiction and narrative non-fiction books seem to prefer the tactile experience of a physical book

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.