Paper Book Lovers Despair: Amazon Says E-Books Outselling Traditional Books

By Tracey E. Schelmetic May 19, 2011

If you're a lover of books who has ever told your friends that e-books will “never” outsell paper books, it may be time to face facts. Internet retail giant Amazon.com Inc. revealed today that it now sells more digital e-books than paper books.

What's the world coming to? Who doesn't prefer the feel and smell or paper books? (Can you tell which way I'm biased?)

 Apparently, the masses (if the small percentage of Americans who say they regularly read books can be called a “mass” anymore) were waiting for the prices of e-readers to come down. Amazon also revealed that its recently introduced lower-priced Kindle e-reader is outselling other versions of the device.

Amazon, which does not divulge precise sales figures for the Kindle or e-books, said that for every 100 print books it has sold since April 1, 2011, it has sold 105 e-books. That includes both paperback and hardcover books, but excludes free downloads, reported Reuters.

Last month, Amazon introduced a Kindle for $114, about $25 less than its next most expensive version. In exchange for the lower price, users must put up with a little advertising on the screen occasionally.

The Kindle has been competing with Barnes & Noble's relatively popular Nook e-reader and Apple's iPad (which also functions as an e-reader) for e-book sales. The Kindle was launched in 2007 and is by far the best-selling device made specifically for reading digital books.

Not to be outdone, Barnes & Noble is holding a press event on Tuesday in New York to unveil a new e-reader. Last month, Barnes & Noble introduced improvements to its Nook Color.

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Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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