Many people own Nooks, Kindles, or other tablets now. We continually hear about bookstores closing down, and major book retailers downsizing. So, who is still buying the actual books you can hold in your hand?
1. Lovers – so many readers and writers still prefer the tangible experience of the book. The way it feels in their hands, the sound when you open a new book and the pages fall, the smell of the paper and ink… these are all experiences cherished by book lovers. They may occasionally use the electronic devices, but as long as print exists, they will always prefer the ‘real thing’.
2. Furnishers – these are people who cherish art and beauty. Books are decorations, colorful objects used to enhance the ambience of a room. I know several people who buy books because of the “look”. They never actually open them, let alone read the contents.
3. Seekers – these people are looking for friends, approval, and respect. Their purchases are based entirely upon the popularity of a book. They want to “talk knowledgably” with others. They continually check the bestseller lists as well as the goodreads lists of those they will be around. Their purchasing decisions will be the same as that of others. Buying the print version is proof or validation of their "accomplishment".
4. Money Makers – books are still seen as an investment, especially early printings, or rarely signed by the author copies. Don’t think books can bring in much money? Try this Chaucer for $225,000 or this Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations for $185,000. Try a search for rare books and you’ll find many more examples.
What about you? Do you still buy print? Why?