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December 12, 2007



Surely the rise of internet sellers has made books cheaper?


Following on from what Sam said, what's is the average spend on books and gambling? Gambling might have fewer interactions, but costing more, whereas books might be cheaper?

But there are all the expensive books that are sold too, that need to be taken into consideration.

Surely the internet has opened up the "long tail" in bookselling - people can now find that book about the Egyptian Sudanese battalion that fought with the French army in Mexico that they've always been looking for?

Buenaventura MacLean

I have to say that my local library is doing a grand job in keeping up an interesting range of stock. It had all but one of the books I'd selected from the TLS 'Books of the Year' feature and is getting the escapee from another library at a cost to me of 40p. They advertise their borrowing statistics and they look very healthy to me.


If my habits are any guide, then the internet has increased the buying of books, but reduced the reading of them. Yes, I know - tres rational.

You might be interested in this post on whether changing reading patterns could change the basic functions of our brain.



It's the quantity of books sold, divided by the number of people of book-buying age, that measures interest in books.

You have shown the total expenditure on books expressed as a percent of total spending.

Unless you want to slot in a whole lot of heroic assumptions, I don't see any connection.


Factor in the end of the Net Book Agreement in the mid-90s and what you have is probably an increase in the number of books sold per unit of spend. So, given that total spend has remained about the same, interest in (or at least buying of) books has (possibly) risen.

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