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Printed Book Sales Down as E-Book Market Grows

E-book sales are becoming more popular at the expense of printed books. Vladimir Filonov

Printed book sales are falling in Russia as the e-book market grows, according to a Russian Book Chamber report last year, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

The number of books published in 2012 fell to 540.4 million copies, almost 12 percent less than the total from the previous year. In 2011, that figure declined 6 percent.  

The number of titles printed last year fell 5 percent from the year before, from 122,915 titles to 116,888. Also, 2 percent of publishing houses closed.

But that trend does not mean a decrease in the number of people reading electronic books, Mikhail Seslavinsky, head of the Federal Agency for Mass Media, told Vedomosti.

A survey by the Romir research firm said about 65 percent of respondents buy fewer printed books compared with five years ago because they read e-books.

The survey, conducted in November, gathered opinions of about a thousand city residents in all of Russia’s federal districts, a Romir spokeswoman told the newspaper. The margin of error was about 3.5 percentage points.  

The number of printed books has declined drastically since 2008, while the number of e-book readers has risen rapidly, according to data by the State Statistics Service, the SmartMarketing research group, Yevroset and the Russian Book Chamber.  

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