US eBook sales fell by 18.7% in the first nine months of 2016, while UK sales dropped 17% across the year, reports CNN. There appears to have been a resurgence in reading physical books, where sales grew during the same period.

In the UK, sales of physical books and journals went up by 7% over the same period, while children’s books surged 16%. The same trend is on display in the U.S., where […] paperback sales were up 7.5% over the same period, and hardback sales increased 4.1%.

The popularity of print format books is not necessarily very literary in nature, however …

Children’s book have always been more popular in print, [and] many people prefer recipe books in hardback format [while] coloring books were a big trend over the past few years.

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom also suggested that some consumers were actively trying to reduce their usage of digital devices.

Ofcom found that one third of adults had attempted a “digital detox” in 2016 by limiting their use of smartphones, tablets and other devices.

The main hit, however, was to dedicated eBook readers, whose sales have continued to decline since their peak in 2011, most choosing to use a tablet instead. I made the same transition myself a few years ago, discarding my Kindle in favor of Kindle and iBooks apps on my iPad.

How do you read your books? Personally, I mostly read eBooks, though do still own around 1400 paper books, and kind of feel that a home isn’t a home without them. What about you? Please take our poll, and we’d be really interested to hear the reasons for your preference in the comments.


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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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