There is a massive new literary trend occurring on Instagram right now, @hotdudesreading. The account has over 572,000 followers and is a celebration of men reading books on the New York subway. What is most surprising about this phenomenon is that they will not publish any pictures of people with e-readers, smartphones or tablets, with a simple hashtag #nokindles.
Big trends in the publishing industry often occur on mass transit and its a clear and definitive way to gauge how people are reading. The lack of e-readers on this Instagram account is demonstrating that people are no longer captivated by Kindles, Kobos or Nooks, instead flocking back to the print form.
Are e-readers sexy onto themselves? Sadly not. We have been reviewing e-readers since 2008 and the build quality has not dramatically improved overtime. An e-reader today does not really look all that different from one made four years ago. Smartphones on the other hand have taken bold risks, such as the Samsung Galaxy Edge and YotaPhone 2.
The entire e-reader industry is basically crashing. In the last few years many companies that have been making them, have gone out of the business. Waterstones, the largest bookseller in the United Kingdom has admitted that sales of Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader had “disappeared” after seeing higher demand for physical books. Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader sales have also tanked, with the company losing over a billion dollars on their bookstore and hardware. E Ink, the company responsible for making e-paper screens has lost millions of dollars almost every quarter, due to the lack of demand for e-readers and has diversified into grocery store price tags.
Many booksellers have admitted that print is making a comeback and this Instagram signifies the gravitational shift away from romancing a Kindle to bringing the sexy back to books.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.