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Ebooks Outsell Actual Books on Amazon

Amazon released its quarterly report for the end of last year and says that for every 100 books sold on its site, it sells 115 Kindle ebooks. This doesn’t include the ebooks that are offered for free (seriously — free books!), and if it did, the report said the numbers would be pretty huge. Has Kindle created more readers out of people who didn’t previously read now that it’s available on iPads, phones, computers, and, of course, the Kindle?

Obviously, it would be ignorant to say that reading is dead. While some people generally read much less once they’re out of school, plenty of adults can still be considered voracious readers. But does the convenience of having tons of books at your fingertips encourage casual readers to read even more? After all, Amazon’s “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” makes it possible to download Kindle for free on pretty much any platform and then read all your purchased ebooks on any portable device. Essentially, Kindle is inescapable. It’s free and it’s everywhere. Not to mention the Kindle device itself, the third generation of which actually surpassed Amazon’s highest-selling product of all time, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

The Kindle device, which costs over $100, topped the last Harry Potter book, which sells for about $22 in hardcover, $10 in paperback. That’s kind of huge. And ironically, none of the Harry Potter books are available as ebooks. Hmmm …

To say nothing of ebooks being less expensive than most books, hardcover and paperback, including current bestsellers:

The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 810,000 books including New Releases and 107 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers. Over 670,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 74 New York Times Bestsellers. Millions of free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle.

Basically, Amazon is making books more convenient for even the most uninterested of readers. Because who would ever turn down something free or cheap that you don’t even have to leave your seat to get?

(Top pic via xkcd, Story via Amazon via Slashdot)

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