IKEA has apparently decided that books are a thing of the past.
Citing a changing climate in the reading world, the furniture authorities are putting a new spin on the old bookshelf – by redesigning it to store anything but books.
No More Books On Those Shelves
IKEA has noticed a shift in what consumers are storing on their bookshelves. After all, a Kindle can hold thousands more books than a wooden tower in the living room. According to the Economist, next month Ikea will release a new version of its classic Billy bookshelf, one that’s focused less on storing books than on storing everything else.
From Time NewsFeed:
The company says it’s finding that customers use their shelves increasingly for “ornaments, tchotchkes and the odd coffee-table tome” and less for reading material.
The demise of paperbacks is increasingly imminent. Borders, once a book giant, has closed up shop. Barnes & Noble is staving off the same fate by embracing e-books. It’s clear the book world is well into its digital transition. While Ikea won’t face financial trouble simply because people aren’t buying bookshelves to store books, they’re more than wise to keep up with buyers’ trends.
They’ve realized we don’t need fixed shelves 12 inches high and 9 inches deep. They’ve realized we’re more comforted by the endless capacity of a millimeters-thin box of transistors.
Who Needs Bookshelves?
Ebooks have become the single bestselling category in American publishing for the first time, according to new data released last April.
By contrast, sales of adult fiction in hardback so far this year have fallen by over 10% according to book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan: by this point last year, sales of the format had reached £29.7m, while this year they stand at £26.6m. Cheaper paperback sales, in contrast, have only fallen 6%. Hardback sales have fallen in volume as well as value, BookScan said, from 2.8m copies sold by this point last year to 2.6m this, echoing a trend over the last two years: 8.5m copies of adult fiction hardbacks were sold in total in 2009, compared to just 7m in 2010.
The latest report from the Association of American Publishers, compiling sales data from US publishing houses, shows that total ebook sales in February were $90.3m (£55.2m). This makes digital books the largest single format in the US for the first time ever, the AAP said, overtaking paperbacks at $81.2m. In January, ebooks were the second-largest category, behind paperbacks.
The Triumph Of Ebooks
America’s ebooks enjoyed a 202.3% growth in sales in February compared with the same month the previous year, the book trade association revealed. Print books fared much worse by contrast, with the combined category of adult hardback and paperback books falling 34.4% to $156.8m in February. The children and young adult category of print books fell 16.1% to $58.5m.
What do you think? Will books survive?
Photo Credit: aiddy