E-books were once considered the answer to saving trees and making reading fun again. In a world where we do everything online, it felt appropriate. However, some interesting shifts in trends are causing many to wonder if e-books are on the decline. This interesting topic came to us from the Observer in their article, “Are E-Books Finally Over? The Publishing Industry Unexpectedly Tilts Back to Print.”

Interestingly enough, independent bookstores are on the rise and e-books are on the decline. There are a litany of factors affecting both. According to the American Booksellers Association (ABA), a non-profit trade organization for indie book shops, its membership grew for the ninth year in a row in 2018, with stores operating in more than 2,400 locations. Add to that, sales at the independent bookstores are up approximately five percent over 2017.

On the other end of the spectrum, sales for e-books are stagnant, slipping by 3.9 percent so far this year, according to data from the Association of American Publishers. Hardback and paperback book sales grew by 6.2 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

It seems, and I can say it personally applies to me as well, that one of the very few things people want to shop for in-person, books are one of them.

Melody K. Smith

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