Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Kindle ebook sales climb

The BBC reports that Amazon now sells more Kindle ebooks than paperback and hardback sales combined.

The UK's biggest book retailer Amazon now sells more ebooks than hardbacks and paperbacks combined, the company has said. For every 100 print books sold through the site, Amazon said it sold 114 titles for its Kindle e-reader device.

I don't find that surprising, especially for fiction. What I find more interesting is this finding.

It added that the average Kindle owner bought up to four times more books than they did before owning the device. 

That fits well with our experience. My wife and I both have Kindles and we read more now than we used to when we were just reading paperbacks and hardbacks. I don't think it's a factor of four for us, but we certainly read more - and more widely too.

But Kindle content is controlled by one multinational company - Amazon. Okay there are other readers and other formats, but not many. How will that pan out?

It isn't just Kindle owners who are reading more though is it? Huge numbers of people may be reading more simply because they can select what to read on the web and read it any time they like. And select means make more personal and more interesting - more specific to me. Anything from news to political commentary to the latest UFO sightings to... well you name it.

Technology is changing our behaviour.

Do you find your political views changing? Firmed up, loosened, shifted to the right or left? Perhaps not much, but some aspects may have changed, some ideas or ways of thinking may have inserted themselves into your way of thinking. Are you more radical or less? Or about the same? 

I've certainly been affected by the web. Nothing dramatic, but it's real. I'm not what I was. Neither, I strongly suspect, are you. Not quite. 


Sam Vega said...

It's probably the case that people are reading more, as the format makes it so much easier.

But I would be wary about the figures. Nobody has any idea as to how much downloaded material is actually read. It tends to be cheaper, much easier to obtain, and obviously takes up no space. So having bought it, there is less self-induced pressure to read it. Taking possession of a physical item such as a book seems somehow to oblige me to do something about it...

A K Haart said...

Sam - I know what you mean about that obligation, but I tend to find that a physical book I can't get on with hinders me from buying another. There is not quite such an issue with ebooks.

However, many modern ebooks are still expensive because certain publishers seem keen to prop up the physical book market via price.

Anonymous said...

FWIW I know someone who was never a great reader, perfectly intelligent and successful but they could not cope with all those black squiggles on the page. Got given a Kindle and he is now a keen reader. Not the only tale of this kind I have heard - maybe there is something to study here.

A K Haart said...

Roger - that's a spooky coincidence because I have a post coming up on that tomorrow morning. Some research suggesting you are right.

I'll add your comment to the post if that's okay - interesting subject. Was that someone male?