Loyalty vs. Affinity

A recent report in the media has many people voicing their opinion that the sales of digital books in India is expected to pick up in coming months but that will not impact the aficionados love for hardcover books as has been the case in the West.

Foremost are the opinions of Kapish Mehra, MD, Rupa & Co, who does not see iPads or Kindle book readers replacing the hard copy.

A similar view is echoed by Vivek Mehra, MD and CEO, SAGE Publications who opines it as is very difficult to believe that digital books will replace paper books.

The strongest votary of books, Chairman and CEO of the Penguin Group, John Makinson who says

“the idea of the book dying comes up all the time which is wrong. Books matter more in India than anywhere else we publish them.”

More reading material here, here & here.

Consider all of the above with this prediction by Forrester Research:

2010 will end with $966 million in eBooks sold to consumers. By 2015, the industry will have nearly tripled to almost $3 billion, a point at which the industry will be forever altered.

Some interesting statistics too:

  • 7% of online adults who read books read eBooks. But that 7% happens to be a very attractive bunch: they read the most books and spend the most money on books.
  • The average eBook reader already consumes 41% of books in digital form. Oh, and that includes the people who don’t have an eReader yet, which is nearly half of them. For those that have a Kindle or other eReader, they read 66% of their books digitally.