What would get you to stop reading? Yeah, me neither
Some people seem to be suggesting that Americans are reading fewer books.
I don’t buy it.
I’m sorry, but I just don’t intuitively feel that someone who reads books regularly is going to stop and replace it with other media.
Now, certainly, some life situations can change the amount of leisure reading you do. Changing a job can affect it, for one thing.
I do think that there are indicators that people are buying fewer books from publishers measured by the Association of American Publisher (AAP), but that’s not at all the same thing.
For the AAP measured (AAPm) publishers, there does appear to have been a downturn, according to this
and other sources, the AAP’s latest StatShot reports shows that sales of adult trade books (the kind of books you would have bought in a bookstore…not textbooks and such) are down 10.9% at AAPm in the first quarter of 2016 compared to 2015.
That is a significant drop…but my guess is that a lot of that is sales (or at least obtaining) migrating somewhere else. That could be books from indies (independent publishers) as well as downloading freebies.
I could easily a ten percent shift in the past year…even though it doesn’t have to be the full 10.9%. Some of the drop could be from the coloring book fad peaking.
The biggest change I see is a drop of 40.5% in children’s/young adult’s e-books.
I think young adult e-books can be particularly affected by
I would guess that borrows from Amazon’s subser (subscription service) probably aren’t counted in the AAP figures.
I also think e-books are growing the number of books read…just not from the AAPm.
That has to do with convenience mostly, but I can say that I go through books a lot faster using text-to-speech (software which reads books aloud to you). Some tradpubs block the TTS access, which could slow down their sales some
The big tradpubs have also raised prices (they control consumer prices now, although Amazon can discount in some cases.
What do you think? Are people reading more or few books…and why? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.