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Amazon says e-book sales surpass printed books


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Will this save the world's forests?

To be continued.

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I'd like to see the breakdown by category. For example, what is the e-book/real book ratio for works of philosophy? For engineering texts? Art books? i would guess 1/10 or less. So, it is a little too early to crow about the dominance of e-books if the majority of the e-sales come from the top ten best seller list (fiction and non-fiction). You know, categories such as celebrity memoirs, popular fiction, partisan political screeds, etc. You know, the new hard cover books you find at the front of the bookstore with the 10, 20 or 30% off stickers on the cover. This e-book nonsense is like saying that since porn and manga/comics outsell literature that literature's days are numbered.

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Rather than guess, I did quick online search and found e-book sales have improved in ALL categories while real book sales have decreased in all categories. Also, e-book sales include books on the backlist - those that normally don't sell well after an initial release.

printed books declined 34 percent and 16 percent in those respective areas, with gentler, single-digit drops for education and religious titles.

from engadget. com/2011/04/15/ e-book-sales-triple-year-over-year-paper-books-decline-in-every/

mainstay mass-market paperback titles lost a whopping 41.5%

from nexus404. com/Blog/2011/04/15/ebook-sales-triple-in-one-year-paper-books-fall-in-every-category-the-year-of-the-epublisher-continues-unabated-as-ebooks-beat-dead-tree-on-every-front/

As for textbooks, some universities (e.g. Stanford and Duke) are requiring students to purchase a e-book reader and supplying the textbooks only in e-book form. Cheaper and more mobile than a bookshelf of heavy tomes.

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Old news. Ebook sales surpassed regular last year.

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In related news, high schools have reported that "virtual reading" has far surpassed "real reading." Results have been reported in manga form.

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"For example, what is the e-book/real book ratio for works of philosophy? For engineering texts? Art books? i would guess 1/10 or less"

Yeah. The latter no doubt. And remember free books are excluded, which means that we might have a world population downloading Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe and Darwin, but .. not likely.

"Popular" books will be bought through a "popular" medium, so this was sure to happen. I don't see the revolution, though. McLuhan told us the medium is the message, and he was right. Why read a book when you can just tell people you downloaded it? With all of the great books on Gutenberg, I cannot understand why people are getting so excited about paying through the nose to get an electronic copy of Palin's rants or whatever pop-psychobabble or diet book has been featured on Oprah this week. I smell a rat. I have heard a lot of people bragging about their kindles, but I have yet to see a person actually using one.

Wait. And advertisements too?

If you believe that the best books were written more than 50 years ago, then you could read for free and still not kill trees. I have been doing it for about two decades now.

Oh, and this is priceless:

Here is Amazon's best seller list for books.

Go the F()k to sleep. Heaven and back. An American Family in Hitler's Berlin Area 51 ESPN George Martin collection and Tina Fey, WWII, and diets...

Hoo boy. E-books are not going to solve that problem. A kindle is like a window into a wasteland.

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I'd love to get an e-reader with a Japanese/English dictionary, so I can read Japanese without a separate tool. Anyone know of such a thing?

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For example, what is the e-book/real book ratio for works of philosophy? For engineering texts? Art books? i would guess 1/10 or less.

What is the ratio of those books sold to popular fiction and genre works? I would bet 1/100 at least. People read popular fiction, hence the name. Most people don't curl up in bed with an engineering text (generally), and art books are expensive and aren't devoured so casually. Ebooks don't change that.

There's no ebook vs printed book war. Consume whatever you like however you like. If you like the weight, smell, feel, and look of a paper book, buy that. If you want the convenience of an ebook, buy that.

Ebook sales will continue to grow, paper books will decline in circulation but they'll still be around. We're a long way from having coffee table art books that will look and feel as good as a conventionally printed book.

For the record, I have a fair amount of philosophy books on my Kindle :)

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Sorry but I'm still attached to printed books. Holding the book and flipping through the pages is a cherished part of the reading experience for many readers. Even e-readers try to replicate the page turning experience. So expect readers to embrace e-books more slowly. Let me be clear, I'm not arguing that the book publishing industry is not in the middle of a digital transformation. In my opinion, the migration to digital is not going to happen as fast as the media, consultants, and hardware and software manufacturers and those with something to sell suggest. Hence, I have no doubt that we are in the midst of digital transition. The question is how fast.

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