High street book shops 'under threat'

<p>Almost one quarter of international publishing professionals believe that high street booksellers will have ceased to exist in fifty years&#39; time--but only 4% thought that publishers would be obsolete, and only slightly more, 11%, thought that the printed book would vanish.</p><p>The results were revealed today by the Frankfurt Book Fair, which surveyed more than 1,300 publishers, retailers, agents and librarians from all over the world. According to the results, the majority of respondents, 55.5%, thought that the industry would continue without any &quot;catastrophic change&quot;.</p><p>The feedback from the international publishers and retailers identified digitisation as the overriding priority and the single most important challenge facing the industry. Competition from other media and sources of entertainment was named as the biggest threat in an industry where the number of books published continued to increase each year.</p><p>The results showed that 29% of respondents considered that China would dominate the industry in the next decade, but this was less than the 36% who said Europe would dominate, and the 32% who said North America.</p><p>&quot;I am delighted to see that the issues which we have picked up on as key topics for the Frankfurt Book Fair this year have been borne out as those which are affecting the industry internationally&quot;, says Juergen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair.</p>