The world is witnessing a book renaissance and it is not going to die out any time soon, writes Sumir Chandan
For years now, industry insiders have been bemoaning the printing apocalypse, but real-tangible books have stood their ground. In the last year alone, the printing book market grew by a whopping 15 per cent and digital sales of books was only between 5-10 per cent. So far, traditional print has remained untouched and is likely to stay so because of the format that it follows. According to the National Youth Survey, 83 million youngsters identify themselves as book readers and the numbers are only expected to grow with time. Not only in India, but also in the US, the sale of print books rose by three percent and e-books declined.
Ten years ago, when the Kindle was launched in New York, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon remarked that, “the book is so highly evolved and so suited to its task that it’s very hard to displace.” Turns out he was right. Kindle is now set to launch a bookstore in Manhattan. For the first time in six years, the UK based publishing house Waterstones has returned to profit.
Some of the reasons of the decline have been the fact that publishing houses have tied up with Amazon and kindle, resulting in high prices for e-books. In some case, e-books end up costing more than the hard copy. Although in India, the digital prints are different, where e-books are briefer and more trend based as compared to traditional books. Both, Juggernaut books and the Pune based mobile app Readify follow this format, so their readers are automatically demarcated.
To be honest, this renaissance of books is a little confusing to interpret, nobody can negate the changing habits of how most of consume literature, yet the enduring quality of being a bibliophile remains in the tangible experience of reading a book. And to be honest, some of us might not be reading, but we definitely like to accessorise what we’re reading. Whatever the case maybe, it works both ways.
Sumir Chandan is a book collector who runs an eponymous marketing firm that specialises in trends and consumer behaviour.