From the BBC:
Tim Waterstone, the founder of the Waterstone’s book shop chain, has predicted that the “e-book revolution” will soon go into decline in the UK.
He told the Oxford Literary Festival printed books would remain popular for decades, the Daily Telegraph reported.
“E-books have developed a share of the market, of course they have,” he said.
“But every indication – certainly from America – shows the share is already in decline. The indications are that it will do exactly the same in the UK.”
For the first eight months of 2013, e-book sale were worth $800m in the US, down 5% on the same period the previous year, according to the Association of American Publishers.
Meanwhile, hardback book sales rose 11.5%.
. . . .
Mr Waterstone added: “The [physical] product is so strong, the interest in reading is so deeply rooted in the culture and human soul of this country that it is immovable.
“The traditional, physical book is hanging on. I’m absolutely sure we will be here in 40 years’ time.”
And from The Telegraph:
The so-called e-book “revolution” will soon go into decline, the founder of Waterstones has said, insisting that the traditional physical book is here to stay.
Tim Waterstone, who founded the bookshop chain in 1982, argued that the printed word was far from dead and Britain’s innate love of literature had made books one of the most successful consumer products ever.
He added that he had heard and read “more garbage about the strength of the e-book revolution than anything else I’ve known”.
. . . .
He joked that insiders were generally “apocalyptic” about the the book industry’s prospects but said he refused to believe the traditional physical book was under threat.
. . . .
Speaking about the longevity of the printed word, Mr Waterstone said: “Print on paper has lasted for centuries. It’s one of the most wonderful, really successful consumer products of all time.
“The book has probably had the strongest compound growth rate since the Second World War than any other consumer product. The compound growth rate since 1945 is around 5.2 per cent. Compound, right the way through to 2013.
“The product is so strong, the interest in reading is so deeply rooted in the culture and human soul of this country that it is immovable.”