After thirteen years of doing this e-book poll, something interesting seems to be happening. Have we leveled off into a stalemate?
With the usual caveats that this is an unscientific poll, the results are below. And wouldn’t you know it: e-books stayed on top. Barely. Like… it’s very close.
Here’s a graph of the results, with the pro-e-bookers in blue and the paper people in red:
There was a period of e-book optimism in the early aughts that seems to have died down, though e-books still have retained a slight edge.
Did a wave of techno-optimism pass? Did we all get tired of our screens and decide to go back to paper? Did publishers switching to the agency model and raising e-book prices in the early aughts change the value prop? Are we becoming creatures of habits? All of the above?
Anecdotally, it tracks my experience. I have friends who swear by paper and I have friends who swear by e-books, but I don’t know anyone who has switched over to e-books or gone back to paper books in quite a while.
What do you make of the results?
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Marilynn Byerly says
Obviously, those dang stink bugs are finally slowing down their home invasions and stopping the switch over to digital. I was about equal in paper and ebooks read until the stink bugs began to attack me while I was reading under a light. Strafing my face, landing in my hair, thumping the lampshade like bullets, they drove me crazy, every night. I went totally ebooks so I wouldn’t need the light, and I reached the point of not wanting to read paper with its tiny print and pages filled with allergens. I have gone so far as to buy an ebook version of a paper book a friend gave me and insists I read. The only paper I do buy are presents. So, blame it on the stink bugs.