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Digital Killed The Physical Book

from The American Magazine

The End of the Book?

By John Steele Gordon
Saturday, May 21, 2011

The book business will go through a transformation in the next decade or so more profound than any it has seen since Johannes Gutenberg introduced printing from moveable type in the 1450s.

Amazon, by far the largest bookseller in the country, reported on May 19 that it is now selling more books in its electronic Kindle format than in the old paper-and-ink format. That is remarkable, considering that the Kindle has only been around for four years. E-books now account for 14 percent of all book sales in this country and are increasing far faster than overall book sales. E-book sales are up 146 percent over last year, while hardback sales increased 6 percent and paperbacks decreased 8 percent.

Does this spell the doom of the physical book? Certainly not immediately, and perhaps not at all. What it does mean is that the book business will go through a transformation in the next decade or so more profound than any it has seen since Gutenberg introduced printing from moveable type in the 1450s.

[ click to continue reading at The American Magazine ]

Posted on May 26, 2011 by Editor

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