Paperback sales plummet as eBooks take over

Caroline Cassidy

Industry experts are predicting the 'death of the paperback' as more and more readers turn to eBooks for their literary fix. Sales of paperback books are reportedly down by almost 25 per cent year-on-year and it's likely that e-readers are to blame for their demise.

ereaders versus paperbacks
ereaders versus paperbacks

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In the first three months of 2012, 11.3 million paperback novels were sold, down from 14.9 million during the same three months last year and, according to industry analysts Neilsen BookScan, total book sales have dropped by 11 per cent.

It seems literature lovers are swapping the well-thumbed pages of their favourite novels for the lightweight convenience of Kindles and iPads, which can hold up to 1,400 books.

Indeed, when the Harry Potter series hit eBook stores last week, it took just days for sales to hit the £1 million mark.

In fact, trade magazine The Bookseller estimates that one in eight adult fiction books is now downloaded and, with the popularity of e-books soaring, paperbacks and high street bookshops will surely suffer.

Best-selling author GP Taylor told the Daily Mail: "I believe we are seeing the death of the paperback and I would say that by 2020 it will be a little seen commodity."

Sales of hardback books, however, are holding fast, with around 1.2 million sold last year.

Have you swapped paperbacks for e-books? Leave your comments below...