Amazon.com recently released statistics that shows the explosive growth of e-book sales in the first half of this year. Considering the amount of sales that a company like Amazon makes this is simply staggering. A few interesting statistics:
Recent milestones for Kindle include:
- Since April 1, for every 100 print books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 105 Kindle books. This includes sales of hardcover and paperback books by Amazon where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.
- So far in 2011, the tremendous growth of Kindle book sales, combined with the continued growth in Amazon’s print book sales, have resulted in the fastest year-over-year growth rate for Amazon’s U.S. books business, in both units and dollars, in over 10 years. This includes books in all formats, print and digital. Free books are excluded in the calculation of growth rates.
- In the five weeks since its introduction, Kindle with Special Offers for only $114 is already the bestselling member of the Kindle family in the U.S.
- Amazon sold more than 3x as many Kindle books so far in 2011 as it did during the same period in 2010.
- Less than one year after introducing the UK Kindle Store, Amazon.co.uk is now selling more Kindle books than hardcover books, even as hardcover sales continue to grow. Since April 1, Amazon.co.uk customers are purchasing Kindle books over hardcover books at a rate of more than 2 to 1
Keep in mind that this does not include the use of free books. If you think that is impressive, how about this statistic? According to a recent Pew Internet poll, overall e-reader ownership has doubled
in the last six months.
The percent of U.S. adults with an e-book reader doubled from 6% to 12% between November 2010 and May 2011. Hispanic adults, adults younger than age 65, college graduates and those living in households with incomes of at least $75,000 are most likely to own e-book readers. Parents are also more likely than non-parents to own these devices.
Ownership of these devices still lag far behind laptops and cell phones but the e-book reader is gaining ground quickly. As someone who owns all three of these devices I have to say that the signs are encouraging. As a Kindle owner I have greatly enjoyed the ability to carry around several books at once (along with the daily newspaper and a few magazine subscriptions). Traveling around with this much paper would be impractical to say the least. With the Kindle I can switch around my reading order depending on what I am interested in. It gives me a freedom that the paper world just can’t match.
My favorite feature of the Kindle is the ability to read in short time increments. With my busy schedule and healthy reading addiction it can be difficult to find a few hours to work my way through whatever book(s) I am reading at the moment. With an e-book reader I can read a few pages over a break, while I am standing in the server room waiting for a computer to reboot or in the car waiting for my wife to come out of the store. Being able to bounce between my desktop computer, netbook, laptop, Android phone and the Kindle itself leads to a very flexible reading schedule.
The only place where the Kindle falls short is in looking at photographs. You can’t read a magazine and expect to see all of the same pictures that you would see in the paper version. That is not generally a concern for me however, so I don’t pay it much attention. If you haven’t tried reading an e-book then I recommend you give it a try. You can download the desktop software for free for all of the major readers. Grab a free book and give it a shot. I think you will like it!