According to online retailer Amazon.com, since April 1, it has sold 105 e-books for every 100 printed book, excluding free books.
To me that’s an amazing fact and is a sure sign that the iPad and Kindle generation is beginning to take over book publishing in the same ways that the iPod generation has overtaken the CD and vinyl record market. Not only books, but also newspapers are also seeing their electronic versions increase in circulation and now with the widespread adoption of cloud services by business and even consumers, it means we are getting more and more used to the concept of not actually holding our product anymore.
It seems we are very happy to receive an electronic, rather than physical, version of what we need and want.
Of course it is the network and the internet which has made this revolution possible. Without reliable and high bandwidth broadband, none of this would be possible. Of course the next revolution will be the widespread adoption of high bandwidth and stable mobile services so it will become the norm that you download the latest bestseller from the online retailer as you head into town for that lunchtime meeting.
But for an old Luddite like me – nothing will replace the excitement of hours spent searching my local bookstore or better still, the second-hand bookshop. Somehow, clicking to download still does not quite have that thrill…..