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Real books making a comeback

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“From crisp and new to old and dog-eared, physical books remain, by far, the most popular way of reading books.”

THE death of the book has been greatly exaggerated.

The proportion of people buying something they can touch and flick through is up from 51% last year to 56% this year, according to research.

By contrast the percentage buying e-books (22%) and audiobooks (8%) has stalled, with regular readers finding they prefer the printed word and even the smell of a real book.

The figures come from retail analysts Mintel and mirror the situation seen with the revival of vinyl records, with their powerful sleeve images and notes, which people enjoy collecting, displaying and discussing.

A spokesman said: “From crisp and new to old and dog-eared, physical books remain, by far, the most popular way of reading books.

“The top three reasons people buy a book include familiarity with an author, because it was promoted in a shop, and through a recommendation from a family member or friend.”

Mintel said the main reason people are not buying e-books is because they do not enjoy reading on devices, with 45% giving this as a reason.

More than three quarters of print book buyers think it is important to support independent bookstores and almost half have used one in the past year, the research found.