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E-book sales in the UK decline for the first time

Meanwhile, printed book sales are on the rise.
Nick Summers, @nisummers
May 13, 2016
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There's something to be said about a printed book. It's easy to read outdoors, you can lend it to a friend and, unlike a top-end Kindle, it doesn't spell disaster if you lose it. E-readers have their place, but today The Publishers Association (PA) has confirmed that Brits still love holding paper between their fingers. In the UK, printed book sales rose from £2.75 billion in 2014 to £2.76 billion in 2015 -- the first increase in four years. Digital book sales, meanwhile, dropped from £563 million to £554 million over the same period. It's the first drop in e-book sales the PA has ever recorded.

Was it a one-year blip? Maybe, maybe not. Clearly, printed books have a huge lead over e-books -- but up until 2014, that gap was slowly shrinking in the UK. It's not surprising given the popularity of e-readers and the convenience of downloading a novel over the internet. Still, these new numbers show that many Brits still prefer a book made from paper and ink. I guess I'm one of them -- reading is one of the few hobbies I have that doesn't involve a screen, and for the time being I'd like to keep it that way.

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