6 Things To Show To People Who Say The Book is Dead

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Johann Thorsson

Staff Writer

Johann Thorsson is a native of Iceland, but spends much of his time in Bookland. He has lived in a few parts of the world but currently lives in Iceland with a pretty woman and a mischievous son who resembles Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes fame) more each day. He has a complicated but ultimately useless degree in bioinformatics from a very pretty college in England. His favorite books are 1984, Flowers for Algernon and The English Patient. He hopes one day to call himself a writer without feeling like he's just fooling himself. Blog: Johann Thorsson - On Book and Writing Twitter: @johannthors

Tired of hearing about the death of the book?

Yeah, me too. So I did a little digging and found a few things we can ALL be happy about. It turns out that more and more people are reading, and book sales are actually doing fine, thank you very much.

So, rejoice with me and read these 6 select great news from the world of books.

1.The fastest selling adult book of all time came out this year.

Yes. The Girl on the Train is the fastest selling adult book of all time, ever as far as I can tell. It came out this year and has already outsold (in terms of speed) Fifty Shades and Harry Potter.

2. More people are reading more books!


More people now claim to read more than 21 books in a year than ever before. This has never been higher. (Though it has to be said that more people also claim to read no books than before.)

*Source: Statista

3. Book publishers are making plenty of money!


Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 14.16.35

The net revenue of the US book publishing industry is staying level, with yearly revenue at around 27 billion dollars every year. No sign of failing book sales there.

*Source: Statista

4. We are getting more bookstores!

The trend of bookstores closing has stopped and now there are more bookstores opening than closing each year, a trend that has been ongoing for the last four years. Waterstones, Britain’s largest bookstore chain, plans to open a dozen new bookstores this year.

Here in the States, the number of independent bookstores increased by 27% between 2009 and 2014 and sales at independent bookstores have grown 8 percent a year over the past three years, which exceeds the growth of book sales in general. Yay, books!

Sources: Waterstones opens new store in London The Independent

Waterstones set to open more stores across the U.K. Business Reporter

Assessing the Health of Independent Bookstores The New York Times

5. Your favorite travel accessory? Books!


In a recent Tripadvisor survey, 77% of travelers said that “Reading material” was the most important carry-on item, more than anything else. Only 52% said that and iPad or other tablet was their most important carry-on item.

When people travel, they want books.

6. eBook sales continue to rise every year

ChartOfTheDay_1159_eBook_Sales_to_Surpass_Printed_Book_Sales_in_2017_n (1)

This just means more people are reading, not, as it is often depicted, that the book is dying. Print and audiobooks are falling in that graph, yes. People are changing how they read, is all.

*Source: Statista

Now share this with that friend of yours who keeps saying that books are dying.