Books and eBooks

 Books and eBooks reported that, in its last quarter, eBooks outsold hardbacks. The media went mad:

“E-Books: The Future Is Here,” Megan McArdle, The Atlantic.

“The new face of reading? Some e-books now outselling hardbacks,” Doug Gross, CNN.

“Hardcover Books Will Now Be Forgotten, Thanks to Your Kindle,” Brian Moylan, Gawker.

“Amazon: Paper Books Are Dead, Or Something,” Matt Buchahan, Gizmodo.

But what is the paperback-to-hardback ratio? In our house it’s about 20 to 1.

Publishers Weekly estimated 2009 hardback sales at $4.4 billion, paperbacks at $5.1 billion and e-books at only $8.1 million, 1% of printed book sales.  Amazon is fudging the numbers.

If you take your $189 Kindle to the beach, it’s easy to keep it safe while you go in the water. Hide it under a used hardcover book. 


Image (“Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading Her Kindle, After Mary Cassatt”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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One Response to “Books and eBooks”

  1. Thomas Says:

    This is why I just go to booksonboard. All they do is eBooks, so that’s their only concern, therefore making their product and experience with them one of a kind. I’ve tried Amazon in the past, and it just doesn’t beat booksonboard which is why I always keep going back. Plus reward points! Can’t beat that. But after reading the fact that Amazon “fudged” up their statement, I don’t know if I would go back to them. If I do, it will now only be once in a while. Thank you for the article! Glad to know this about Amazon.

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