Leader comment: Print still in rude health

JK Rowling is a keen user of Twitter.
JK Rowling is a keen user of Twitter. PICTURE: ROBERT PERRY
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The latest book sales figures provide further proof that past predictions of the death of the printed word were wide of the mark.

It is also reassuring to publishers - including of newspapers - of the continued attractiveness of hard copy in an age of pervasive electronic screens.

There will continue to be a market for e-books, but print remains the core product, and without a book to hold and browse, the industry would suffer.

However, even more encouraging is the success of children’s publishing.

Sales were up by 16 per cent last year to £365 million, fuelled by the popularity of writers such David Walliams.

Young readers also continue to be gripped by the literary magic conjured up by authors like JK Rowling, who again topped the bestsellers last year with the script from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Parents may fret that their youngsters are spending more and more time staring at screens.

However, the figures suggest the next generation will continue to know and love a book in the way their elders have done.