Publishers at World Book Fair say e-books not eating into readership for physical books
The number of people listening to audio books, or those switching to a Kindle might be on the rise, but the tribe of readers who prefer a physical book continues to flourish, say publishers at the New Delhi World Book Fair.
With the advent of e-books, the future of physical books has frequently been debated. But publishers at the New Delhi World Book Fair are not worried for the future of physical books. Their confidence in the longevity of physical books is further fuelled by the number of book lovers thronging the Pragati Maidan grounds.
According to them, e-books and books cater to different markets and despite the growing number of e-book readers, the older medium is still strong and growing.
“When e-books came into the market, publishers were worried about the future of books and about finding buyers. But with time we realised it’s just another medium and it has also helped us,” Arun Maheshwari of Vani Prakashan said. He said that e-books, audio books, hard bound or paperback all are distinct from each other and all of those have their own markets.
Ashok Maheshwari of Rajkamal Prakashan said that people are still writing books because there is a continuous demand. Despite new reading mediums, the old media retain their space, and physical book sales are not affected by it, he said.
“The era of e-books and audio books will create its own space and market. If somebody is walking or is in a hurry, they would want to listen to an audio book or read an e-book. And when they want to read at leisure they would switch to a book. There is no competition between the two,” Ashok said.
According to Baldev Bhai Sharma, chairman of National Book Trust, NBT sold 12 lakh books in the last one year. He said that it was more important that people read, and not what medium they choose to read on.
The New Delhi World Book Fair ends on January 14.
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