I know a lot of book people believe in their stout paper hearts that digital books will never take the place of paper, but I think we’ve reached a cultural tipping point:
- In June, Amazon announced that Kindle sales had surpassed hardcover sales in the second quarter of 2010.
- Amazon is now selling three times as many Kindles over this time last year.
- Google Editions will eventually make format considerations less significant, as ebooks will be available and not device-specific. It’s going to be like utopia! The anti-apocalypse!
- In 2009, a flat book year, sales of ebooks soared 176.6%, and the ebook’s overall market share grew to 3.3%. In 2010, will it have doubled or tripled again?
Ebook customers appear to be very satisfied, and are moving away from print. A quarter of those who have bought ebooks in the last year say they’ve purchased fewer print books; an additional 15% say they have stopped purchasing print titles altogether.
Here’s what I want:
- Ease of purchase. Kindle seems to take the prize here.
- Availability of titles. The Kindle again seems to have the advantage here.
- A color screen. This is where the Kindle falls short. But the iPad is hundreds of dollars more . . .
- Large screen, but weighs almost nothing. I’m just dreamin’ here.
- Can make julienne fries.
I’m flexible about the last one. Mostly, I want ease of use, durability, and something that won’t exacerbate the scoliosis I seem to be giving myself with all the hardbacks I carry around in my purse. What do you recommend?