Amazon: Kindle Ebooks Now Outsell All Paper Books Combined

Amazon: Kindle Ebooks Now Outsell All Paper Books Combined

Apparently, ebook buyers don’t care about typography or design.

Amazon is now selling more electronic books than all paper books combined – in the UK at least. The Kindle went on sale in Blighty just two years ago, and now “Amazon.co.uk customers are now purchasing more Kindle books than all printed books – hardcover and paperback – combined,” says Amazon PR.

And of course the Kindle itself is far from the whole story. The Kindle’s presence on pretty much every device ever, including the iPhone and iPad, makes the Kindle store a much more compelling place to buy books that the iBooks Store, whose offerings will only work on Apple devices. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s trivially easy to strip the DRM from Kindle books, making people like me a lot happier buying them.

Despite the protestations of the book-snffers, e-books are clearly the best way to read novels and other texts. And Amazon’s press release contains some other rather surprising figures. For instance, this year Amazon.co.uk has sold 114 ebooks for every print book, and since the Kindle was made officially available in the UK (it could be previously bought from the U.S), book sales have quadrupled: “In the UK, we have seen that Kindle readers buy 4x the number of books they did prior to owning a Kindle,” says the press release.

I switched over to Kindle-only years ago, although anything but beach and poolside reading gets done on my iPad in iBooks (after converting the Kindle books to EPUB so I don’t have to use the fugly iPad Kindle app).

That’s not to say I don’t still like and visit brick-and-mortar book stores. I go regularly in fact – after all they’re one of the few places left on the high street that have free (and clean) toilet facilities.

  • poorexplorer

    This is silly… just because people buy Kindle books (or ebooks in general) doesn’t mean that people have stopped caring about typography, design, classic book aesthetics, or even paper! It may just mean that convenience will ALWAYS drive book sales (as it has before ebooks). How often do people run to Barnes and Noble to pick up a new book, when they could wait an extra week and get it from Amazon for half the price?

    For me, the books I truly love will end up in hard format at some point or another, but even then I like to have a copy on my nook. There’s nothing like having a library in a tablet that’s as light as a novel. Who’s to say that in a few years ereaders won’t adapt to provide the kind of typographic visual that a paper book offers?

    And for the record, the Kindle interface on the iPad is (in my opinion of course) VASTLY superior to the iBooks interface. iBooks is cluttered, messy, clumsy, and a little ugly. Kindle is sleek, plain, and focuses on 1 thing: the text.

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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