Like Radio, Books Aren’t Going Anywhere

In the 1950’s, when television entered the market, the industry feared radio would become a thing of the past. Sixty years later, we’re still listening, and those worry warts are smiling. And it seems the same thing is happening with books.

Though the public is generally more inclined to turn on the tube than pick up a book, it seems books are actually growing in popularity, according to a new survey by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group.

According to this article by the New York Times, a recent study shows the publishing industry has expanded since as recently as 2008. Numbers are up in all categories — including trade, academic, and professional books. Researchers say that may be due to the rise in adult students who have returned to school to increase their marketability and find jobs in a struggling economy. Another reason for the increase? As Julie Bosman explains: e-books.

Sales of trade books grew 5.8 percent to $13.9 billion, fueled partly by e-books, the report said. Juvenile books, which include the current young-adult craze for paranormal and dystopian fiction, grew 6.6 percent over three years.

One of the strongest growth areas was adult fiction, which had a revenue increase of 8.8 percent over three years.

E-books were another bright spot, thanks to the proliferation and declining cost of e-reading devices like the Nook by Barnes & Noble and Amazon’s Kindle, and the rush by publishers to digitize older books.

The end of the article, however, touches on a few notable drops, like hardcover trade books. Overall, it’s nice to see that not only is the publishing industry doing well, but improving! As a book lover, it gives me all kinds of warm and fuzzies to know that books will keep on keeping on.

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