eBooks sales are up 164% between 2009 and 2010 and expected to continue to rise. Devices such as the i-pad and the kindle will only increase their popularity. eBooks are estimated to have 20% of the total book market in 2012. Studies suggest that reading books in the digital format is good for the environment. The carbon released from reading e-books on a reading device is offset after the 14th book.
Sales of eBooks went up 164 percent from 2009 to 2010. eBooks, which include digital newspapers, books, blogs, or journal articles, can be readily downloaded right to a computer or mobile device.
eBooks had an 8 percent share of the book market in 2010, which rose to 15 percent by 2011. It is expected that in 2012, the market share of digital books will be around 20 percent. By 2025, eBooks are forecasted to comprise around 75 percent of the market.
The steady rise of eBooks should benefit the environment by reducing use of paper and ink, and by slashing transportation, warehouse, and shelf-space impacts.
The printed book not only uses paper, but also requires a lot of water and energy. There are also other environmental impacts when storing and shipping physical books. eReaders use resources, of course, but by displaying many books and newspapers, their overall footprint is lower.
The amount of paper used for books in one year was estimated at 1.5 million metric tons, and each book produced gave off an estimated 8.85 pounds of carbon dioxide. Study groups have found that the carbon released from eBooks is offset after people read more than 14 eBooks. For the life cycle of a device for reading books, the carbon emitted is offset after the first year. The savings in carbon emitted into the air is around 168 kilograms for the following years after the first year of use.
Source: National Geographic