E book readers seem to be breathing new life into the habit of reading as readers continue to flock to bookstores. Amazon.com has reported that the new generation Kindle devices are outselling paperback and hardcover bestsellers by a ratio of 2 to 1, and have become the fastest selling Kindles of all time despite the continued growth of print books.
The website announced that sales of the new generation Kindle devices have already surpassed total Kindle device sales from October through December 2009.
“We’ve already sold more Kindle devices since launch than we did during the entire fourth quarter of last year, astonishing because the fourth quarter is the busiest time of year on Amazon,” said Steve Kessel, Senior Vice President, Amazon Kindle.
Reading is obviously back in fashion as both traditional print books and electronic units continue to grow. “For the top 10 bestselling books on Amazon.com, customers are choosing Kindle books over hardcover and paperback books combined at a rate of greater than 2 to 1. Kindle books are also outselling print books for the top 25, 100, and 1,000 bestsellers, it’s across the board,” said Kessel. “This is remarkable when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover and paperback books for 15 years, and Kindle books for just 36 months.”
In the 12 weeks following the introduction of the new generation Kindles, Kindle devices or Kindle-related items such as Kindle books and covers represented 15 of the top 15 bestselling items on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk combined. Amazon also sold more than 3 times as many Kindle books in the first nine months of 2010 as in the first nine months of 2009. And the Association of American Publishers’ latest data reports that e-book sales grew 193 percent between January and August 2010. Kindle book sales growth during the same period exceeded this rate.
“Readers continue to choose Kindle for its all-new electronic ink screen with 50 percent higher contrast, readability in bright sunlight, long battery life of up to one month, light 8.5 ounce form, flexibility to read their books across all major LCD devices and platforms, and low price. It’s clear that this is going to be the biggest holiday for Kindle yet, by far.”