A common fear among bibliophiles is that new technology in the form of eBooks will render their precious hardcovers obsolete. This is acceptable for the average reader: e-readers are easy to use, convenient, and decreasing in price yearly. But is the extinction of the paperback truly imminent? Statistics from the Michigan Public Libraries Data Digest says, well, maybe.
Though it’s too soon to tell if your roommate’s doomsday predictions are coming true, in the five-year span of 2008-2013 the Michigan library system has had a notable increase in collection of eBooks (up over one million) and a slight decrease for physical books (down a few hundred thousand) .
If this seems negligible, consider that the ratio of eBooks to physical books has increased from three-fifths of a percent to 3.5 percent .
However, in 2013, eBooks comprised just 3 percent of Michigan’s public library collection, while physical books accounted for 85 percent . So we can relax, for now.