According to a report by Futuresource Consulting the global ebook market grew by an astounding 200% last year in 2010, with sales of more than 90 million purchases. This doesn’t include the download of free ebooks!
The internet e-commerce giant Amazon stated that since the start of 2011, their sales of Kindle ebooks has been outselling physical books by 115 Kindle ebooks for every 100 physical books. Barnes & Nobles, previously a pure print book retailer started selling ebooks last year, and on Christmas day alone, sold and astounding 1 million e-books! These numbers alone show that ebooks are no passing fad. Ebooks are here to stay!
How are people reading ebooks these days?
There is no single answer here. There are a variety of ways users can access ebooks,
- Read ebooks online
- Download and read them on their Laptops or PCs
- Devices like the Kindle, Nook, and Wink e-readers.
- On Mobile phones and Tablets
With specialized e-reading devices like Amazon’s Kindle, a lot of users including me jumped on the ebooks bandwagon. Bigger and better screens on mobile phones, ebook apps and tablets have also pushed the adoption of ebooks as well.
Not just books and words
These days ebooks needn’t just be a direct copy of the physical book. With more people accessing these on mobiles and tablets, publishers have starting adding interactive content like animations, audio and video to ebooks to improve the overall experience of the book. This is especially true in the case of children’s books.
It’s not just books, providers like Zinio have tied up with Magazine publishers as well to provide users online magazine subscriptions which are delivered to users through their desktop software and mobile apps for various platforms.
How do eBooks help productivity?
I personally use a lot of technical reference books on various technologies, which I flip though only when I get stuck at some obscure programmings syntaxes or have to read up books on new languages and development platforms.
Now with ebooks, I don’t have to carry these heavy tech books around, but have all of them on my Kindle e-reader. Apart from being handy, what sets my experience with ebooks is the ease with which I can search through the books. Do you still look up the index at the back of a physical book and then finding the right page? I just hit search and directly jump to the right area of the book now!
It’s not at work, but ebooks are also handy while travelling. These days you really don’t have to hunt around at the bookstore at the station or the airport for a good read. You can load a book or your favourite magazine straight onto your e-reader, ipad or mobile and start reading immediately.
The ebook scene in India
The adoption of ebooks is slowly and steadily catching up. One of the reasons preventing it so far was the lack of affordable devices supporting Indian languages and sources to get Indian content online.
This is where Indian companies like EC Media and Infibeam come in, with relatively cheaper devices, and the availability of local content. Even then their devices range from Rs. 9000 to 14000, way above the reach of the common man.
As we see lower costs of devices, and more local content, ebooks will gain acceptance here, and in India.
Try an ebook Today
If you haven’t yet jumped on the ebook bandwagon, now’s the right time to try one out. Get a good ebook reader for your mobile phone and try reading an ebook. The first place to look for ebooks the Ovi Store for Nokia Users, Aldiko Book Reader for Android and iBooks for iPad Users and the Kindle app for the PC, Android, Blackbery and Apple.
Here a question I have for you. What is your preferred way to read ebooks and how will ebooks help you in your daily life?