Research indicates that printed books may have come through the beginning of the digital revolution okay and that sales may, in fact, experience a decent revitalisation, despite doomsayers warnings that e-books would bury them in the ground.

Younger readers have led the print revival, perhaps tossing out their tablets in favour of a good old-fashioned paperbacks. According to research from the Association of American Publishers, e-book sales dropped 22.7 per cent in April 2016 compared to April 2015, with children and young adult categories experiencing the biggest declines.  

E-book sales also declined in Britain for the first time in seven years. In comparison, paperback book sales in the US surged 21.5 per cent and hardback books grew 2.6 per cent. 

This gels with recent research from the New Zealand Book council, which interviewed several groups on their reading habits and found that young readers preferred books because, “we have so much screen time with other things, it’s nice to have a break.”

With an aim to increase liflong readership in New Zealand, the Book Council will conduct ongoing research to find out specific numbers as to who is reading what.

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