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E-Books vs. Printed Books: the 21st Century Debate by Elana Goodwin on September 12, 2014

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E-Books vs. Printed Books: The 21st Century Debate
By Elana Goodwin on September 12, 2014
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E-book sales have skyrocketed in recent years as personal digital reading devices have steadily risen in popularity since the Amazon Kindle was released in 2007. This trend has sparked a worldwide debate of the pros and cons of e-books vs. printed books and what technological advances in reading means for the publishing industry as a whole.
Back in 2010, when Apple came out with the first generation of its tablet, the iPad, the Pew Research Center found that only 5 percent of Americans owned an e-reader and 4 percent owned a tablet. But as e-readers improved their design and debuted increasingly sleeker, more intuitive, larger memory models, e-reader ownership grew.

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Today, those numbers have severely multiplied, with 32 percent of Americans owning an e-reader and 42 percent owning a tablet, those devices being two of the biggest ways e-books are consumed by readers. However, though e-reader and e-book sales numbers seem to be constantly growing, a report by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) showed that in 2013, hardcover book sales in the U.S. were actually up while overall U.S. e-book sales were actually down about 5 percent.
The AAP found that hardcover book sales rose 11.5 percent to $778.6 million through August of 2013 while e-book sales were up only 4.8 percent to $647.7 million during that same time. Overall, 2013 total book sales came out to around $15 billion according to AAP, which is up around 14 percent since 2008, with e-books accounting for $3 billion of sales.
Though e-readers are becoming more and more popular, they’re not outdistancing print, and there’s no indication that they will even in the future. In 2012, Pew’s...

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