A passenger takes a book in a bookstore at Oriente train station in Lisbon, Portugal on 14 April 2016. The sale of printed books has increased in the UK REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

Britain's love affair with printed books is far from over. Physical books saw an increase in sales for the first time in four years.

The sales of printed books grew by 0.4% in 2015, while ebook sales fell by 1.6%, according to The Publishers Association, which has been monitoring the digital book industry for the past seven years. The organisation's annual report for 2015 has suggested that physical book sales went up to £2.76bn in 2015 from £2.748bn in 2014. Meanwhile, digital sales dipped from £563m to £554m for the first time since 2011.

Stephen Lotinga, chief executive of The Publishers Association, said: "Digital continues to be an incredibly important part of the industry, but it would appear there remains a special place in the consumer's heart for the aesthetic pleasure that printed books can bring."

The increase in the sales of paper books can be credited to some books that do not fit the digital world, like the adult's colouring books for instance, which has become a hit since 2012. The 150<sup>th anniversary of Alice In Wonderland was also attributed to be one of the reasons in the renewal of the print publishing industry in the UK, according to a Guardian report.

The sales of educational books have also increased in all formats, both in the UK and overseas. Around 42% of the total book revenues come from exports with £1.42bn recorded in 2015.

"2015 was a great year for learned journals sales and demonstrates the strength of academic publishers in driving new innovative business models that contribute towards maintaining the UK's position as a hub of global research excellence," Lotinga added.

Anna Bond from Pan Macmillan said: "Some of the production values on trade titles were stunning, with special editions and backlist reinventions gaining more shelf space on our high streets," according to The Telegraph.

Noting that the margin on sales is very thin between the traditional book format and digital copies, Joanna Prior of Penguin General Books said: "Both the increase and decrease are too small, however, for us to make any claims for big shifts in consumer behaviour or make predictions for what lies ahead.

"But I do think that any suggestion that the physical book is doomed can now definitely be refuted as we trade less neurotically in a more stable, multi-format world."