Leisure marketing: Will the rise of Kindle spell the end of our favorite leisure activity?

The Kindle may kill off the traditional book. But open up a whole new world for gadget freaks.

It’s official:  The leisure world as we know it is dying a very quick and painless death.

The evidence:  Amazon just reported that for every 100 paperbacks sold over the holiday season, they also sold 115 Kindle books.

In the words of the tech blog Dvice, “It looks like dead-tree books are going the way of the vinyl record.”

If you’re a leisure marketing specialist you may feel threatened.

Especially if you’re marketing a legacy brand like a chain of movie theaters or full-service restaurants, you might be wondering, “Are we next?”

I agree that the Kindle threatens our very way of relating to free time.

It may even alter the amount of time we spend on our most revered leisure activity.

I’m not talking about reading. I’m talking about watching TV.

In the latest American Time Use Survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spent 2 hours and 48 minutes each weekday watching TV.

And 14 minutes a day reading.

That’s the average.

If you’re 15-34 years old, you’re spending spends 10 minutes a day reading.

Now enter the Kindle.

Granted, it doesn’t look or feel or smell the same in your hands as a real book. But it has a few advantages.

It doesn’t kill any trees or require any inks or dyes to make. We don’t waste fossil fuels or paper products boxing and shipping it. So it’s cheaper to buy and easier on the environment.

It doesn’t take up any space on a bookshelf, so you can fit an extra chair in your study. It’s easier to hold on a crowded train or a bus.

But what I like best is it’s turned the book into a gadget.

You know who likes gadgets?  The same people who up until now didn’t read.

15-34 year olds.

Yeah, those same guys who would rather watch TV or play video games are now buying Kindles.

Last time I looked 1 in 3 Kindle owners were under 40.

That’s a good thing for the book industry.

And a good thing for 15-35 year olds who until now spent an average of 10 minutes a night reading.

Thank you Amazon. Got any more tricks up your sleeve?

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