Ebooks popularity skyrocketing, says Amazon

Caroline Cassidy

Move over hardbacks, eBooks are blazing a trail in the publishing world having outsold hardback books for the first time, according to Amazon's sales reports.

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The sales giant has reported in the last three months it has sold 143 ebooks for its Kindle reader device for every 100 hardcover books.

And in the last month alone, the figures have shot up to 180 eBooks for every 100 hardcover books sold.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, said: "We've reached a tipping point with the new price of Kindle--the growth rate of Kindle device unit sales has tripled since we lowered the price from $259 to $189.

"In addition, even while our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format.

"Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books--astonishing when you consider that we've been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months."

Although Amazon has not released sales figures for their Kindle readers or eBooks, they have revealed that five authors, including Stieg Larsson and Nora Roberts, have each sold more than 500,000 Kindle books.

Google are also jumping on the eBook bandwagon and in May they announced that they would give buyers access to over 12 million eBooks that were not tied to any particular device.

The Apple iPad is proving a popular device for eBooks as users downloaded 1.5 million eBooks in the first month of the tablet PC's release.

The eBook's popularity is definitely on the rise as in 2009, there were an estimated three million eReaders bought in the US and that amount is expected to double this year.

Do you prefer the convenience of having millions of books at your disposal on one device or are you a dedicated book lover who cherishes turning the pages of your favourite book? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.