In a significant milestone for our screen-addicted age, Amazon has announced that it is now selling more Kindle eBooks than hardcover and paperback books combined.
The US retailer began selling the Kindle in the UK in 2010 and the product’s popularity was evident from the offset as its digital books swiftly surpassed hardcover sales within a year of its launch - at an impressive rate of more than two to one. Just over a year later and its exponential growth has brought Amazon’s landmark announcement today, demonstrating our infatuation with the lightweight reading device that stores all your reading material in one place.
“Customers in the UK are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books, even as our print business continues to grow,” said Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president of Kindle EU. "We hit this milestone in the US less than four years after introducing Kindle, so to reach this landmark after just two years in the UK is remarkable and shows how quickly UK readers are embracing Kindle.”
Figures released by the company show that for every 100 print books bought on Amazon.co.uk, 114 Kindle Books have been sold. Kindle ownership has either made us more prolific readers or just encouraged a scatter-gun approach to book buying, as owners typically buy four times the amount of titles they did prior to having the device.
But while the Kindle has no doubt capitalised on our rampant pursuit of fancy devices to hold and new screens to stare at, a crucial element of the product’s success is the fact that its screen isn’t actually like a screen. The Kindle is famed for its glare-free interface that reads like real paper, on what Amazon calls “the most advanced electronic ink display”.
Nevertheless, the firm is allegedly keen to offer a lit-display version of the device enabling users to read in the dark. Reports earlier this year said this new Kindle project was in the latter stages with a release expected in the not-so-distant future.