Just as iTunes essentially supplanted the hallowed record stores as primary provider of music – Amazon’s e-book reader Kindle has scored more purchases with its digitally downloaded stories than the number of hardcover books sold via it’s online retail merchant site.
This is bad news mostly for two specific groups – romantics for the quaint comfort of the bound paper and glossy cover jackets who like to grip their preferred formats and maybe dash their fingertips with saliva to turn those thin sheets – but particularly for publishing companies who might see this as the acceleration of a trend that pulls away further from physically manufactured, “dead tree” format.
Notably, hardcovers are still doing quite well. But, Amazon offers it’s Kindle “e-books” in a variety of delivery modes – (thus not requiring an e-book reader to buy the specific hand-held Kindle device itself, shown above). E-books from Amazon’s Kindle are compatible for downloads to iPhones, iPads Blackberrys and more.
While Amazon saw E-book sales surpass hardcovers briefly during the holidays last year, it has now reported that it steadily sells more electronic versions on average for every hardcover sold. Sony, meanwhile, has sold up to 10 million E-books since it introduced it’s e-reader back in 2006. (E-readers are on the rise thanks to older readers from the Philidelphia Inquirer).
Now, libraries are circulating their own kindles.–From the Herald Sun: Queueing up for Kindles
And many others, Ferndale Public Library included, participate in Overdrive – an “e-checkout system” for digital content. Ferndale Library patrons can access more info via The Library Network. More info here.
The quaint notion of settling down with a good book, really seeping it in and losing yourself in the pages, seems to be accelerating to adapt to the “downloadable” society we now live in – speed readers now become speed downloaders.
More stories on the evolving methods of book delivery and popular trends in personal book absorption on the way, here at FPL Observer.