In further evidence of the market disruption caused by burgeoning ebook sales, reports show that British book sales fell by a quarter in the first two months of this year. Britons bought 7.5 million novels in the period compared with 10 million in the same period last year.
When all categories are included, overall dead-tree book sales dropped by 4.7 million to 25 million. Significantly, the report from Nielsen BookScan discloses that retailers put £28 million less into their tills as a result of the move towards downloads.
Commenting, The Telegraph said that, in stark contrast to the decline in sales of physical books, e-book sales are soaring. According to the latest figures from the Publishers Association, e-book sales rose by 623 per cent between January and June last year.
One bookshop owner, Roger Hickman, from Torrington in Devon, said that the outlook for bookshops is grim: “There is not the footfall any more. People are not now going into bookshops. If they want the latest fiction they will buy it at the supermarket or go online or use a Kindle. Overall, the future of the high street bookshop is pretty grim. They are closing at an alarming rate.”