The Story Behind Germany's Scant E-Book Sales

In Germany, a nation of bibliophiles, e-books account for only 1 percent of books sold
The International Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany Photograph by Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

As any New York City subway passenger has noticed, the number of people ditching paperbacks in favor of a Kindle or iPad is exploding. E-books last year accounted for 20.2 percent of all books sold in the U.S., up from 7.3 percent in 2010, according to Bowker Market Research. But that mass adoption of the digital word is still far off in one of Europe’s most-literate nations, Germany, where e-books account for only 1 percent of all book sales, according to a report published last month by the market research firm GdK.

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