Friday, March 27, 2009

Books are not dead, neither are they dying

Recent news articles have focused on the imminent demise of U.S. newspapers. Local newspapers, especially in two newspaper towns, continue to decline. Advertising revenue and circulation are both declining. See for example this article in The Washington Post. The overall concern is that reading is on the decline. A report on the Publishing Business Conference and Expo clearly indicates that the trend in newspapers does not extend to the book market.

The article posted on the LDS Media Talk blog showed the following:

  • Literary reading is growing, not shrinking.
  • Publishers are moving from publishing for general markets to focusing on
    more targeted markets.
  • E-books are growing, but at the same time, printed books are not fading.
    (2006-7:
    e-books doubled and tree books rose 3.2%)
  • Publishers are moving from print-only publications to print and digital
    publication. New devices for digital reading (Kindle, e-Reader, iPhone, Android)
    are growing and improving dramatically.
  • Take a visit to your local library. On a recent visit to the Maricopa County Library in Gilbert, Arizona, we found the library full of people. There were literally stacks of recent popular books for checkout. The library was not only stocking books but also recently released audio books and movie DVDs.

    If overall reading and demand for reading material is not declining, perhaps the newspapers should look to content, relevance and convenience as an issue. Maybe putting out pounds of newsprint every week is no longer socially acceptable. If you are like my family, we stopped taking the newspaper, not because we didn't want the news, but because we didn't want the huge piles of newspapers we felt duty bound to recycle.

    In addition, if I do read a news article and I want to comment on the article, how do I do that with a print version of the newspaper? Write a letter to the Editor? Sure.

    The newspaper industry is facing technological and social changes. The will adapt or they will disappear.

            1 comment:

            1. I usually read two or three books at a time and also listen to another as an audio book when driving. I agree about the newspapers. It's no longer green to keep taking the paper.

              ReplyDelete