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'Print is Here to Stay': a WSJ article spreads like wildfire

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(Read caption) Writer Nicholas Carr points out that e-reader sales are plunging while sales of tablets are rising.

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It’s no wonder a recent Wall Street Journal essay on the longevity of print books is circulating the web faster than “Fifty Shades” climbed bestseller lists.

It is, after all, music to many bibliophiles’ ears.

In “Don’t Burn Your Books – Print is Here to Stay,” writer Nicholas Carr argues just that and makes a convincing case that digital books will complement, not replace, traditional print books.

“Lovers of ink and paper, take heart,” Carr begins. “Reports of the death of the printed book may be exaggerated.” Despite the initial prognoses about publishing going all digital by 2015, digital may very well be a supporting, not starring, actor in years to come, says Carr.

“It may be that e-books, rather than replacing printed books, will ultimately serve a role more like that of audio books – a complement to traditional reading, not a substitute,” he writes.

He outlines the evidence: A recent Pew Research Center poll revealed that 89 percent of readers said they had read at least one printed book during the preceding 12 months. By comparison, only 30 percent reported reading even one e-book in the same period.

What’s more, after “the initial e-book explosion,” the growth rate for e-book sales is slowing from triple-digits to about 34 percent in 2012, suggesting that initial spike in growth was an aberration, a reflection of the technology’s enthusiastic early adopters. In fact, a survey by Bowker Market Research revealed that 59 percent of Americans said they had “no interest” in purchasing an e-reader.

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