Close but no Wifi: digital sales overtake actual books

The death knell rings for the physical book as digital sales take over for the first time.

by Courtney Greatrex
Last Updated: 20 May 2014

What's that we hear? The collective sound of the publishing industry quaking in its boots? And quake they must, for a new report has  found that the inevitable has finally happened: more of us are reading digital ebooks than books.
 
The report, by Deloitte, found that for the first time, 51% say they buy more ebooks than physical copies.
 
According to the survey, the most popular way to find out about new books is Amazon, with 39% browsing its hallowed shelves,  compared with 22% who visit chain bookshops and a measly 7% of us who look to independent bookstores for a good read. Friends' recommendations and word of mouth fared better as the second most influential way to find books, with 30%.
 
The news isn’t all bad, however. The report suggested that the average UK household is spends around £900 per year on media; with 52% of this spent on one-off purchases of books, DVDs and newspapers.
 
Of the respondents, 80% said they’d read a newspaper online or in print, but just half of that would pay for it themselves. So who pays for it, you ask? 10% said they only read free papers and another 10% get their daily news fix either online or have access paid for by someone else.

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