Waterstones mixes apples with pears, The Telegraph adds oranges

The Telegraph has the weirdest piece on the decline of Kindle at Waterstones book stores.


Waterstones has admitted that sales of Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader had “disappeared” after seeing higher demand for physical books.

And this:

Kindle sales had “disappeared to all intents and purposes”, Waterstones said.

Along with a 5% rise in print sales, these things are made out as proof of the ebook’s decline. It’s obviously ridiculous, because they’re talking about sales of Kindle e-readers, not actual books. First of all, you don’t buy a lot of e-readers, do you? Decline in sales doesn’t necessarily mean a thing, especially not from a bookstore where the audience is more likely to buy books, digital or otherwise.

Second, there’s no doubt a decline in e-readers, in terms of (often e-ink based) dedicated reading devices, is happening. That doesn’t mean a thing, because today your smartphone is an e-reader, and you’ve got Kindle on it in an app. The only thing that the story actually tells us, is that e-readers aren’t selling as much as they used to at bookstores. It has nothing to do with ebooks, and everything to do with a product that’s been marginalized thanks to smartphones.