Printed books are heavily preferred among Brits, but digital sales are rapidly increasing

For many, there's nothing quite so comforting as cracking open a good book. The texture of the pages combine with the smell of ink and paper, as the writer pours their imagination and soul into a world that's apart from your own. While e-books have won over a number of people, the latest stats from The Publishers Association suggest that the majority of Brits still prefer the printed form, which accounted for 88 percent of all book sales during 2012. The winds of change are working in the background, however, as digital sales -- consisting of e-books, audio downloads and digital subscriptions -- now account for 12 percent of the pie; an increase from 8 percent just one year ago.

As a whole, the UK publishing industry shows modest signs of growth, with combined physical and digital sales rising by 4 percent to reach £3.3 billion ($5.1b). Meanwhile, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but e-books continue to gain popularity and show tremendous promise. Here, consumer e-book sales have risen 134 percent in 2012, which now account for a £216 million ($336m) share of the UK publishing industry. Regardless of whether you prefer print or digital formats, we reckon that all readers deserve a hearty slap on the back. Here's to keeping the story-telling alive.

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Printed books are still favored by Brits, but digital sales are rising