Since the first ensign handed the first captain the first datapad on Star Trek, I wanted one. Amazon made that fantasy a reality when they unveiled their Kindle, the device that changed the book market. And today, at last, I think we're all ready to say good-bye to paper books for ever.
Well, maybe not all of us. But ebooks are definitely here to stay, and they're getting more popular all the time. The ebook market continues to grow, and more writers are coming out of the shadows to self-publish their own stories.
At the end of 2012, 23 percent of adults had read an ebook. At the end of 2013, it was up to 28 percent. Now, about 4 percent of people read ebooks exclusively and never sully their hands with paper volumes. Bookstores offering paper books continue to go out of business all around the world. But there are also less blacksmiths these days because fewer people are riding horses.
Because the lessening popularity of paper books hasn't affected readership. Around 76 percent of adults in the United States read a book in the last year, with the typical adult reading about 5 books per year. Meanwhile, ebook sales are up at digital bookstores.
The age of paper books is over, and I'm totally ready. Beam me up, Scotty.