UK readers abandon eBooks at an alarming rate

(27 April 2017) Readers in the United Kingdom are suffering from screen fatigue and are abandoning eBooks and embracing print says Michael Kozlowski. Sales of consumer eBooks plunged 17% to £204m last year, the lowest level since 2011. This has resulted in a number of companies to go out of business such as Blinkbox Books and the Sainsburys digital bookstore. Things got so bad that and Barnes and Noble fled the country and shuttered their bookstore.

“I wouldn’t say that the eBook dream is over but people are clearly making decisions on when they want to spend time with their screens,” says Stephen Lotinga, chief executive of the Publishers Association, which published its annual yearbook on Thursday.

Last year print sales of consumer book titles – fiction, non-fiction and children’s titles – rose almost 9% and generated £1.55bn. The total UK print book market, including non-consumer areas such as journals, rose 8% to a five-year high of £3bn.

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