Book Sales Are Soaring—And Not Just the Digital Kind

istock.com/bitterfly
istock.com/bitterfly

Large bookstores are closing locations, or closing down completely. Newspapers are shrinking. People are spending more and more time on the internet. All of this leads to the prevailing sentiment: books are dying because people don't read. Except that sentiment isn't true.

As Quartz recently noted, independent bookstores have thrived in the last few years. Between 2009 and 2015, the number of independent bookstores in the U.S. went up by 35 percent. The Guardian also recently reported that the number of independent bookstores in the UK went up in 2018 for the first time since the advent of Amazon.

And while independent bookstores are thriving, print book sales on the whole are steadily, if slightly, rising too. According to Publishers Weekly, print sales rose by almost 2 percent in 2017, and continued to rise in 2018, mostly due to the strength of adult nonfiction sales.

Vox suggests we're actually buying more print books because of all our time online, and in particular on our phones. A trip to a bookstore doesn't just make for a lovely afternoon errand, it also makes for a potentially popular and pleasing Instagram post. #Bookstagram has been used more than 25 million times on that photo-sharing platform alone. Bookstores are able to more effectively market their stores with social media as well.

Vox also wrote that because our phones are so ubiquitous in almost every aspect of daily life, we're increasingly drawn to physical books as an escape. Indeed, some independent booksellers agree that digitization has actually made people crave physical books more—their look, their feel, their smell.

If you need some inspiration for print books to read next, check out Mental Floss's favorite books of 2018. And if you need ideas for bookstores to visit, check out these unusual bookstores—or your favorite author's favorite bookstores.

The New Apple Watch SE Is Now Available on Amazon

Apple/Amazon
Apple/Amazon

Apple products are notorious for their high price tags. From AirPods to iPads to MacBooks, it can be difficult to find the perfect piece of tech on sale when you are ready to buy. Luckily, for those who have had their eye on a new Apple Watch, the Apple Watch SE is designed with all the features users want but at a lower starting price of $279— and they're available on Amazon right now.

The SE exists as a more affordable option when compared to Apple's new Series 6 line of watches. This less expensive version has many of the same functions of its pricier brethren, except for certain features like the blood oxygen sensor and electrical heart sensor. To make up for the truncated bells and whistles, the SE comes in at least $120 cheaper than the Series 6, which starts at $400 and goes up to $800. The SE comes with technical improvements on previous models as well, such as the fall detection, a faster processor, a larger screen, water resistance, and more.

Now available in 40mm ($279) and 44mm ($309), both SE models offer a variety of colors to choose from, such as sliver, space gray, and pink. If you want cellular connection, you’ll have to pay a bit more for the 40mm ($329) and the 44mm ($359).

For more, head to Amazon to see the full list of offerings from Apple.

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Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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