Books and the Internet

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How The Internet Has Changed Books

The book industry has always been an integral part of society. However, recent surges in technology, especially the internet, have put this industry under pressure and have transformed it into a broader, more competitive entity. In the past, the book store was the only pace to buy and sell books but these buildings could be soon be obsolete with the introduction of online shopping for books and the more impressive and rapidly growing industry of e-books, as seen by the accompanying chart1. Figures from 2012 show that giant online bookstore Amazon, is now selling 1.4 e-books for every print book sold and this trend is showing no signs of slowing down2. These steps in technology give both readers and authors great opportunities. The introduction of online shopping and e-books have given consumers food for thought in regards to what way they go about buying a book. The somewhat “old-fashioned” way in some regards of visiting the nearby bookstore is nearly a thing of the past with the introduction of online shopping. The now giant online superstore Amazon.com was the first online bookstore back in 1994, created by Jeffrey Bezos3. It gave book readers the benefit of being able to buy books from home as well offering lower prices. Publishers don’t need to fill shelves with books, once a book is ordered it is produced and shipped to the customer4. The unneeded stock pile of books results in lower costs for the publisher and thus lower costs for the online buyer. These two options result in the customer buying a paper book. The third option differs from this and really brings technology to the fore. E-books are rapidly growing and are taking the book industry over by storm. E-books can be bought over the internet and downloaded to various devices (e-readers) such as Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad. They offer many advantages over paper books to readers5. Compared to some paper books which are big, heavy, cumbersome objects to be...
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