Reading has become a new hobby for many people in the world. Yes, the reading interest has increased rapidly in the current years. Even in Indonesia, which ranked 60 out of 61 countries in the research on the World’s Most Literate Nations Ranked done by Central Connecticut State University in 2016. The survey data from The Digital Reader stated that Indonesian people’s reading interest increased every year.
In 2017, the reading interest reached 36.48 percent. In 2018, it reached 52.92 percent. And in 2019, it reached 53.48 percent. Furthermore, Digital Reader which often documents the world’s digital revolution and reading interest stated that during the pandemic, the global reading interest increased significantly, especially on the digital texts. People’s reading interest in the world increased 35%, but printed book sales still decreased.
The invention of digital texts or ebooks traced back to 1971 when Michael S. Hart in America started Project Gutenberg, a library site that today accommodates over 60,000 free ebooks. Since then, people started reading texts and books from the internet. The first text loaded on the site was American Independence Script.
The invention of ebooks has some benefits, from helping the sustainability of the environment by using less paper, facilitating people who have difficult access to printed books, and even making reading more practical.
Currently, people in the world spend more time with their cellphone in their hands. They only need internet access to be able to read texts and books. Reading can even be done before sleep with the lights off. This means that every time people need information or have free time, they can easily access digital texts.
So, what will happen to book stores in the near future?