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On the Books: Paperbacks and hardcovers still reign over ebooks

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Early adopters of e-readers: The literary revolution still has not been digitized. In the first six months of 2014, ebook sales composed 23 percent of total book sales, according to new data from Nielsen Books. That’s certainly a hefty chunk, but even hardcovers alone beat out ebooks, making up 25 percent of unit purchases.

Not everyone buys ebooks at the same rates, though. Only 22 percent of adult nonfiction books purchased in the six-month period were ebooks, while a whopping 47 percent of romance novels purchased in the same span were digital. This could explain recent pushes by publishers to expand the ebook market, by offering titles by authors like Gabriel García Márquez and Charles Dickens. [Publishers Weekly]

One bestselling book in particular has had a big week. Thanks to its new film adaptation, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl—which has spent 121 weeks on USA Today‘s bestseller list without claiming the top spot—should hit No. 1. The film topped its own charts in its debut weekend, raking in $38 million. [USA Today]

Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has been adapted for the silver screen, but a new trailer the author released promotes the next literary installment. Kinney plans to upload five teasers trailers for the ninth book in the series, The Long Haul, to YouTube before the book hits shelves on Nov. 4. [Mediabistro]

The comic series Naruto, published by Japan’s Shueisha Inc. in its weekly Shonen Jump magazine, will end in November after 15 years. Shueisha gave no reason for ending the series, which has proven massively popular. About an adolescent ninja’s struggles to become the strongest in his village, Naruto has spawned 70 comic book volumes, which have sold an estimated 205 million copies in 35 countries and regions. Naruto has also been adapted into an animated television series. [The Wall Street Journal]

More than 150 years after his death, Edgar Allan Poe’s hometown of Boston has erected a statue in his honor. Poe died 165 years ago Tuesday, but a monument was never a foregone conclusion. The author and poet had a contentious relationship with the city, complimenting the intentions of Bostonians but remarking that “their poetry is not so good… the Bostonians are well-bred—as very dull persons generally are.”

Still, Boston seems to have buried the hatchet after all these years, commissioning a life-size brass statue of Poe. Artist Stefanie Rocknack didn’t skimp on details: The statue, located in a downtown park, faces away from the Frog Pond to show Poe’s disdain for Bostonians, and the author’s image carries a raven and a briefcase containing a human heart, both references to his work.

Poe’s adopted hometown, Baltimore, has shown the author much more affection over the years, proudly displaying its own statue since 1921 and naming its NFL team after one of his famous poems. [L.A. Times]

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