Books seem to be behaving in a different way.
I think they play a different role in our lives.

Heather Reisman, 2014, “Indigo still a ‘huge believer in books'”

News that sales of electronic books, such as via Kindle, are on the decline. People going back to hardcover books and paperbacks. There remains a continuing decline in the sale of hard copies of newspapers and magazines, plus music CDs and film DVDs.

Declines in copy sales of music and film make sense. One does not regularly see a film more than once, and the film rental business was grounded in limited access to such films on demand elsewhere. Most people who listen to music don’t feel the need to be holding the case and reviewing the music credits detailed on the label or liner. Such was also the case decades ago, when people would buy records in order to hear favourite songs on demand, but had much less interest in what was going on behind the music. So when the music is available digitally on demand, no need to purchase a CD. The increase in sales of vinyl records seems to relate to a relatively minor market. People are said to like vinyl because it has a more permanent sense to it, whereas digital recordings are regarded as more disposable. So much so that, quite apart from the decline in the sales of CDS, there is also a decline in revenues from digital downloads. People are quite happy to stream music, without feeling a need to possess any of it.

Maybe the same disposable nature is associated with magazines and newspapers. Most people did not retain magazines or newspapers for extended periods, and both were more popular before much of such information was available online, and often at no charge. People may say that there is nothing to compare with the physical experience of reading a newspaper or magazine, but since they are regarded as disposable in any event, digital approximations, preferably free, will suffice for most.

So one is left with books that seem to continue to be associated a greater degree of social interest, when in physical form. Perhaps how we define ourselves:

Only a bookshelf can truly hold a reader’s history and future at the same time, while the present is usually found in a book bag or on a nightstand nearby.

Peter Knox, “What does your bookshelf say about you?”. The Guardian, September 7, 2012.


About brucelarochelle

This entry was posted in Books, Film, Magazines, Music, Newspapers. Bookmark the permalink.

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