Print Books Enjoyed a Surge in Sales Last Year

I’m not about to give up print books. Perhaps I never will. The good news: there are many people like me, judging by the 2.4 percent increase in sales of print books last year.

A total of 635 million units of print books were sold in 2014, compared with 620 million in 2013, according to a report by Publishers Weekly. The figures came from outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan, estimated to capture about 80 percent of print sales in the United States.

Print Book vs. E-book

Don’t get me wrong, I do buy e-books, which I read on my computer. Since I already do all of my work-related reading on computer, I don’t mind reading a novel or novella using a Kindle app once in a while.

I don’t own an e-reader because it doesn’t appeal to me. It’s small but it’s not as convenient as sticking a paperback in my purse. It certainly doesn’t give me the satisfaction of touching and smelling a brand new hardcover.

The surge in print-book sales is modest, but it’s heartening considering the persistent prediction of the print book’s death. We can all calm down and enjoy a book regardless of format.

Other Highlights

Unit Sales of Print Books by Category:

  • Juvenile nonfiction, 15.6 percent growth from 2013
  • Juvenile fiction, 12 percent growth
  • Adult nonfiction, 1.4 percent growth
  • Adult fiction, -7.9 percent

Unit Sales of Print Books by Format

  • Hardcover, 3.1 percent growth from 2013
  • Trade paperback, 4.3 percent
  • Mass market paperback, -10.3
  • Board books, 17.4 percent growth
  • Audio, 0.2 percent growth

To read the entire story on Publishers Weekly’s Web site, click here.