DES MOINES, Iowa — Literature lovers filled the plaza in Des Moines’ capitol this weekend for the Des Moines Book Festival. The Festival featured nationally acclaimed authors, hands-on workshops, children’s activities and more.
People of all ages were able to come together and bond over their love of books. But are readers finding a new way to enjoy books?
During the pandemic, people have discovered a lot of new hobbies. Many have turned to reading. However, people could not leave their homes to get a paper book. That’s when the surge in e-book sales took over.
Although e-books have been around since 1998, print books have a clear head start. But those numbers are starting to shift. During the pandemic, sales of physical books fell slightly. Sales of eBooks and audiobooks increased. So much so that the Des Moines Public Library had to change direction when planning its next budget.
The Des Moines Public Library has increased its spending by about 25-30% to meet the increased number of e-book sales.
Sue Woody, director of the public library, said: “We diverted some of our funding to go directly into our e-vehicles because we wanted people to be able to check in without going into the library at the height of the pandemic, so that was not the case. safe for them to do so.
One of the downsides to the rise of e-books is the effect they have on children in school. Some schools still have printed books in their curriculum. Others have moved on to downloadable books.
The Des Moines Public Library is trying to keep print books in schools, Sue Woody told WHO 13, this is an incredibly crucial time for our children in schools. “I would say print materials actually dominate, we go to schools, we work with second-grade classes. We work with preschool classes.
Woody goes on to say that kids have been hit pretty hard during the pandemic in terms of reading achievement. “We do everything we can to provide books,” says Woody.
For a local bookstore, she wants to highlight the importance of keeping paper books on the shelves.
Hunter Gillum, co-owner of Beaverdale Books, says, “People love books as objects and being able to share them with others.
“People want to be able to have their book signed by their favorite authors. If everything goes digital, you would lose that element of community that surrounds books,” says Gillum.
Beaverdale Books and the Des Moines Public Library believe that printed books are not going away. They evolve. With technology, there are more accessible ways for people to enjoy books and expand our reading choices. It allows us to connect with books in different ways.
Woody says, “Reading our physical materials will always be popular. Hardcover books will never die. They’ve been around for hundreds of years, and they’re going from a roll to a soft-back bound book to a mass market. So they change a bit, but they will never leave.
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