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E-book Sales Continue to Fall as Younger Generations Drive Appetite for Print
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E-book Sales Continue to Fall as Younger Generations Drive Appetite for Print


电子书销量持续下滑 年轻一代爱上纸质书


Readers committed to physical books can give a sigh of relief, as new figures reveal that e-book sales are falling while sales of paper books are growing – and the shift is being driven by younger generations.




More than 360m books were sold in 2016 – a 2% jump in a year that saw UK consumers spend an extra 6%, or £100m, on books in print and e-book formats, according to findings by the industry research group Nielsen in its annual books and consumer survey. The data also revealed good news for bricks-and-mortar bookshops, with a 4% rise in purchases across the UK.




While sales through shops increased 7% in 2016, e-book sales declined 4%. It is the second year in a row that e-book sales have fallen, and only the second time that annual e-book sales have done so since industry bodies began monitoring sales a decade ago.




In 2015, the Publishers Association found that digital content sales had fallen from £563m in 2014 to £554m, while physical book sales HAD increased from £2.74bn to £2.76bn. The Bookseller also discovered a similar result, finding in its own report about the five biggest general trade publishers in the UK – Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan and Simon & Schuster – that their e-book sales collectively fell 2.4% in 2015.




The shift was attributed to the explosion in adult colouring books, as well as a year of high-profile fiction releases, including The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. “Readers take a pleasure in a physical book that does not translate well on to digital,” the Publishers Association report read.




But Nielsen’s survey of 2016 attributed the increase in print sales to children’s fiction and to younger generations preferring physical books to e-readers. A 2013 survey by the youth research agency Voxburner found that 62% of 16- to 24-year-olds preferred print books to e-books. The most popular reason given was: “I like to hold the product.” While Nielsen found that 50% of all fiction sales were in e-book format, only 4% of children’s fiction was digital.


然而,尼尔森的2016年度调查将纸质书销量的上涨归因于童话书以及更爱读纸质书的年轻一代。青年研究机构Voxburner 2013年度调查发现,1624岁的年轻人有62%更爱读纸质书而非电子书。他们给出的最普遍的原因是:“我喜欢捧着书本的感觉。”与此同时,尼尔森发现,售出的小说中有50%是电子书,但售出的童话书中只有4%是电子书。


Steve Bohme, research director at Nielsen Book Research UK, who presented the data on Monday ahead of this year’s London book fair, said young people were using books as a break from their devices or social media. “We are seeing that books are a respite, particularly for young people who are so busy digitally,” he said.




“Over the last few years we have seen a return to favoring print, partly from what is really successful, this year being non-fiction and children’s books,” he said. While adult colouring books were popular in 2015, last year saw books about healthy cooking and the latest Harry Potter sell well – which Bohme noted are “books that tend to translate better in the print form”.




The Nielsen survey contained another first: mobile phones and tablets overtook e-readers as the most common device used to read e-books, with readers favoring multifunctional devices over dedicated e-reader brands such as Kindle and Nook.




While ebook sales had plateaued, Bohme said it was important to remember that the figures were still higher than they were five years ago, holding a 25% share in 2016, compared with 26% in 2015 and 18% in 2012. The average e-book price increased to £7.




Bohme said ebooks sales would continue to decline in 2017, barring a new development in e-reader technology. “One thing we’ve seen is that when print sales surge, industry confidence in the print increases. If publishers are confident, they can have huge success,” he said. “If we have a couple of years of that success story, print sales will keep going up.”


伯梅说,电子书的销量在2017年会继续下滑,这将阻碍电子阅读技术的进一步发展。他说道:“有一件事我们是可以预见的,当纸质书销量上涨时,行业对纸质书的信心就会增强。如果出版商有信心,他们就会获得巨大成功。如果这种成功持续几年,纸质书的销量将会不断上升。” (Source:www.theguardian.com)


Edited by Chloe(代晶晶)

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