Every medium goes through a natural life cycle that eventually results in reincarnation — and we’ve reached that point with books.
Look at any medium over this history of man and you see the exact same chart. Something alway goes forming anticipated to be being cool to being outdated to being vintage cool.
There’s literally no other reason for cassette tapes to still exist, but even they made a comeback.
It appears we’ve reached the point in the lifecycle of physical books where they’re once again cool. There was a time when e-book readers like Kindle and various iPad apps were forcing a change in how we consume literature. The pendulum as now swung back the other way and books are all the rage.
According to CNN, which came up with a killer headline of Books are the new Vinyl, e-book sales are down and all the cool kids are reading physical copies .
Sales of consumer e-books plunged 17% in the U.K. in 2016, according to the Publishers Association. Sales of physical books and journals went up by 7% over the same period, while children’s books surged 16%.
This is, of course, assuming that people are reading. It also doesn’t change the way we consume media, as print is still dead and the digital age continues on. But let’s not pass over how interesting this movement is. When e-readers were on the rise, a common old person complaint (and complaints made by young people trying to make old people happy) was that they missed turning the pages.
It’s a weird sentiment to have persisted but it seems to have won out. The tide was rising with the increase in popularity of places like Half Price Books and eBay’s version Half.com.
Vintage will always be hip, it’s just weird that books now fall under hipster chic.