". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Sales Up, ebook Sales Down

     . . . . An article in the UK Guardian describes the fall of the Kindle and ebooks, and tries to figure out the whys of it.

Basically -- yah, ebooks just aren't as good a reading experience and totally useless for anything that isn't just skimming.  You sure can't do research with them.

That's what I've been sayin' from the beginning.  For light, thoughtless distraction while riding the subway, OK.  But nothing else.
[ " . . . figures published today by the Publishing Association show that sales of consumer ebooks have dropped by 17%, while sales of physical books are up 8%. Consumer spending on books was up £89m across the board last year, compared with 2015. So why is the physical book winning through? " ] Read the Guardian piece here.

I don't necessarily agree with their conclusion that it is the allure of the physical that is the draw for printed books again.  I still put more value on my own reading needs, pleasures and necessities, that one simply cannot absorb or pay attention to the content on a screen, whether fiction or non.  And then, with history and other important non-fiction forms, all the cites, biblios, indexing, etc. are not there -- and often not the illustrations, including graphs and tables are also not included.  This makes the ebook useless for someone like me.  And I read uncountable numbers of such books every year!

I do agree, however, that audio books are real rival to kindles, etc.

They are still the growth center for publishing (along with illustrated kids' books, which don't work on kindles, etc. either).  People are listening to everything from pod casts of all kinds to enormous numbers of audio titles.  I listen to dozens of audio book every year myself.  All of them history.  Again I'm missing cites, biblios and indices.  But if this is a book that mattes to me personally for research I search out that title and obtain the print copy.  The point here though being that I can absorb content and recall it from the audio version of a text.  But I don't when it's on a screen.

The genre segment of the ebook market is about 50%.  The ebook sales of genre forms increased overall even, about 6%, which makes for great sell-through for crime, thriller, mystery, romance, fantasy etc.  Also for self-publishing.  Almost all self-publishing is done now as ebook format.

No comments: