... before bookstores crumble?
Digital Book World meditates today on the percentage of eBooks sold vs. traditionally printed books, and the possible implications for stores.
The figures are soft, but indicate that 50% of fiction sold is digital, while around 25% of nonfiction is read on eReaders. Interestingly, only 10% of illustrated nonfiction is being taken over by digital publishing, despite the rapid improvements in interactive technology.
The question for bookstores, is how low their share of the fiction market can drop before they buckle under, or adapt to become specialist outlets, focused on good nonfiction, illustrated children's books, and beautifully produced classics.
The second option seems sensible to me. As mass market books are taken over by digital publishing, the most flexible traditional publishers will shift to producing beautiful hardbacks, focused on nonfiction and classics, and book collectors and bibliophiles will come into their own. And having beautiful bookstores (like the one above) to match would be both logical and a delight.