Friday, June 8, 2007

Question: Will books, as we know them, be extinct one day?

Last Saturday I attended the monthly luncheon for the Southwest division of the Florida Writer’s Association ( held at the Duval Street Restaurant in Bonita Springs. I find these meetings inspirational—interesting people from wannabe writers to successfully published authors and everything in between. It’s also a comfortable place to practice ‘shameless plugs’ of my novel, The Ride.

I always return home from these meetings ready to sit in front of the computer and write my heart out. However, I stalled a bit this week when I started thinking about one of the topics of discussion—my question of the week. Although book extinction due to the advance of technology may be extremely beneficial for the tree population, it’s sends shivers up my spine. Will our future generations only know how to download books to some gizmo and listen through earphones during rerun season on television or when there’s nothing better to do.

It would seem, with over 300,000 titles released each year (yes, you read that right 300,000) the idea of extinction is far-fetched so I started surfing the web. Here are some interesting (and scary) statistics I found on

  • eBook sales increased 1,442% in January 2003 over January 2002. --Publishers Weekly, March 24, 2003.
  • While the US Population is growing and education levels are rising, book sales are not-due to heavy media competition for leisure time. --Business Trend Analysts, Inc. as reported in Publishers Weekly, October 27, 1997.
  • 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
  • 42% of college graduates never read another book.
  • 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
  • 57% of new books are not read to completion. --Jerrold Jenkins.

    These statistics are hard for me to believe because what better escape from the world is there than to curl up in a corner with a good book with paper pages and printed words.

    See you next Friday and in the meantime, go buy and read a book!

    Jane Kennedy Sutton
    Author of The Ride
    Web site:

    Tags: The Ride, Florida Writers Association, Duval Street Restaurant, Reading Statistics, book sales

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Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world