Last week my family and I spent the entire week in beautiful Algonquin Park. If you have never had an opportunity to visit this area of Ontario you owe it to yourself to make the trip. We spend a good portion of our summer vacation camping, and over the years we have developed many “must-happen” events while we are away. Campfires, hiking, and kayaking are on the top of this list along with reading books. For me, it would not be vacation unless I have a chance to read three to four books during the week.
I will admit that I have been one of those consumers who have held on to the notion that reading a book means picking up a physical copy of the book. Visiting the local library prior to going away meant vacation was just days away and picking my selection of books was exciting. Circumstances this year, however, lead me to take the plunge and buy an eReader.
The experience was surprisingly very good, and to be honest I did not miss packing up several large hard cover books, which tended to take up valuable packing space in our vehicle. My reading selection was different as I was able to borrow directly from the library without leaving my home, and for those books not available it was very easy to purchase and download from numerous sites. Based on NPD’s Retail Tracking Service the eReader category in Canada is showing decline of 14% in units for the latest 12 month period. With the growth of tablets (which can act as an eReader, although in my opinion the experience is not as positive) in addition to a very large group of consumers who continue to stay with the paper format, soft growth can be expected. For these same reasons I would think there is still quite a bit of opportunity in the market to convert consumers to the electronic medium. I know that for me now picking up a paper book is going to be difficult after my eReader experience, which has become my medium of choice.