Christian Science Monitor: 'Print is Here to Stay': a WSJ article spreads like wildfire
... What’s more, after “the initial e-book explosion,” the growth rate for e-book sales is slowing from triple-digits to about 34 percent in 2012, suggesting that initial spike in growth was an aberration, a reflection of the technology’s enthusiastic early adopters. In fact, a survey by Bowker Market Research revealed that 59 percent of Americans said they had “no interest” in purchasing an e-reader.
That may be because Americans are shifting from single-purpose e-readers to multi-purpose tablets. As the article pointed out, sales of e-readers are plunging while those of tablets are skyrocketing.
But [Nicholas] Carr sees something deeper in the trend. E-readers have been particularly well-suited to genre novels, like thrillers and romances, “the most disposable of books” that we tend to read quickly and not want to hang onto. By contrast, he notes, we’re less likely to go digital on genres like literary fiction and narrative nonfiction. “Readers of weightier fare,” he posits, “seem to prefer the heft and durability, the tactile pleasures, of what we still call ‘real books’ – the kind you can set on a shelf.”
If that’s the case, argues Carr, e-books may be just another format, “an even lighter-weight, more disposable paperback” that readers use for certain genres, the same way we purchase mass-market fiction in paperback and cookbooks in hardcover.
Quite simply, print and digital serve different purposes, Carr concludes. The clinching evidence? According to Pew, nearly 90 percent of e-book readers continue to read physical books. ...
Despite my love of technology, I admit I do not own an e-reader and I have no intention of buying one. (I have read some books using a Kindle ap on my computer or iPhone.) Most of what I read is non-fiction. I highlight and take notes. I want access to those notes for years to come. You don't actually own e-reader books and the noting taking strategies all seem more cumbersome and tenuous than writing in a real book. I think Carr is likely on to something. Only time will tell.