An End of an Era

Long have gone the days when we curl up in bed with a cup of tea, reading a book. Now are the days of the fast paced, compact Kindle. The Kindle, which was introduced two years ago, has affected book sales online and in store dramatically.

In a press release-at Luxemborg, 6th August- Amazon.co.uk states: “so far in 2012, for every 100 print books Amazon.co.uk has sold, it has sold 114 Kindle books. This includes sales of hardcover and paperback books by Amazon.co.uk where there is no kindle edition.”

This year, with the release of Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle 3G, Kindle Touch 3G, popularity has increased amongst the e-readers. Amazon.co.uk added: “As a result of the success of the Kindle, we’re selling more books than ever before on behalf of authors and publishers.”

The Kindle, which is an electronic book, allows readers to download books in a matter of minutes wherever they are.

Shopping for books just does not meet the requirements anymore of those who lead active lifestyles and those who are technology literate.

Miss Turner, Sales Assistant-at Blackwell’s Charing Cross Road branch-said: “There has definitely been a dip in bookstores due to the kindle, people’s shopping habits have changed, they want something which matches up to their busy lifestyle.”

The rapid increase in E-book sales is changing the book shop industry. Mr Howells, PR and Brand Communications Manager of Waterstones said that books sales had been affected in the last year due to the “economic climate” yet he also mentions that: “the current 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon shows there is still a huge market for print books.”

This raises the idea that maybe the Kindle is not the whole reason why sales have declined; it could be simply because people are looking for something innovative and unpredictable to keep them interested in the book industry.

However Mr Howell, further adds that Waterstones will in fact be selling Kindle E-books in the autumn, due to consumer needs: “it’s a tough economic climate and all bricks and mortar booksellers face challenges, be they independent or chain, and hopefully all those clever and quick enough to react to what customers want and provide a great service will find they prevail.”

Traditionalists and technophobes will probably have difficulty accepting these facts and statistics but as with language, change is inevitable.

But those who accept change will idealise the ‘one click method’ and the minute wait for the book whether you are on a beach in Spain or a park in England.

Miss Manning, 22, Wales, uses a Kindle because: “it’s easier to use, you can have a lot more books and it saves you from carrying say like 10 books. I still prefer the classic look of a book. So in that sense I’m a traditionalist. Yet Kindle’s are minimalist, modern and convenient, I have access to a variety of books everywhere I go.”

If you had told an Amazon worker in 1998, when they first started selling books ,that in 12 years time they would selling electronic books with internet access they probably would have said you were bonkers.

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