Readers, Viewers, and Players
"We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us."
- Marshall McLuhan
Sometimes sales data can provide useful insights into what we as a society value, and how we are changing.
Compare, for example, sales of last year’s top-selling book compared with the best-selling video game: the leading video game of 2013, Grand Theft Auto V, sold over 12 million copies in the US alone (and over 26 million worldwide). In contrast, the best-selling book in all print categories, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, sold a mere 1.8 million hardcopies.
By some measures, the total of all hardcopy (hardcover and paperback) book titles sold in 2013 was a little over 500 million. In contrast, the top ten video game titles alone sold over 70 million units. The total quantity of book titles being published (or self-published) has soared, even as sales have stagnated -- there are far more book titles out there, with fewer people reading them. In contrast, more and more people are... Read more