Are e-Books Revitalizing Reading Culture?

As neighborhood bookstores continue to struggle in light of the recession, many people are turning more and more to e-reading electronic devices. Biographies, literary fiction and educational resources are all available in the cheap e-book format,  writes Dorene Internicola at Reuters.

“It’s really been all good news this year. Reading is becoming more popular in general,” said Chris Schluep, senior books editor at Amazon, the biggest online bookseller in the United States.

“It’s so easy to buy a book now… We’re seeing reading grow across the population.”

In the spring this year Amazon announced that for every 100 print books sold, it had sold 105 e-books for its Kindle device between April 1 and May 19.

Schluep calls 2011 a great year for literature and sees a trend towards more literary books, noting strong offerings from veteran novelists and first-timers alike.

The biggest industry trend Schlup has seen is for young adult series, such as the vampire novels of “Twilight” and the “Harry Potter” books.

“Everything is moving in that direction,” he said about the younger market.

This comes after an Education News interview with Karen Lotz, the President of Candlewick Press, the largest independent children’s publisher in the US.

In the interview Lotz explained how she feels  over the next 3 to 5 years, digital will trump print.

“Currently a lot of adults, as well as teens, buy new young adult books in digital form, which is a really good thing in terms of expanding our market overall. Teens are purchasing more than ever before as reading devices proliferate.”

But she doesn’t believe we’re going to see the end of the bookstore and library quite yet:

“I believe brick and mortar outlets – and I love that you include libraries in that category – are going to be hugely important for the youngest readers going forward. The experience of being in a room full of books, for a child, is one of the most empowering and exciting experiences one can have.”