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Opening Arguments

Book wars

The increase in e-book sales continues, but don't write the obit for the dead-tree version quite yet:

 Amazon says its Kindle e-book sales are three times larger than they were last year, and it sells 43 percent more Kindle e-books than hardcover books on average. It's pretty clear that people are adopting Kindle Books, and e-books in general, at a faster rate than any other book format.

[. . .]

So it's clear that e-books are a fast growing market, but adult hardcover books were also on the rise in May and grew by 43.2 percent for a total of $138.5 million in sales. During that same period, there were also $58.1 million worth of children's hardcover books sold, and hardcover sales from university presses would tack on another $4.1 million for a total of $201 million in hardcover sales. Meanwhile, e-book sales for the month of May totaled just $29.3 million.

When I bought my Kindle, I supposed I would start reading mostly e-books and abandon the traditional format, but it hasn't worked out quite that way. Whenever I think about a book or hear about one that I want to check out right away, I order it immediately on Kindle. But I still buy regular books, too -- and browing in a bookstore is still more fun than browsing online. The result is that I'm reading more overall. Others who have the Kindle tell me the same thing.