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U.S. Ebook Sales Outpace Hardcovers for First Time

U.S. Ebook Sales Outpace Hardcovers for First Time

Ebooks have been steadily growing in popularity ever since affordable ebook readers, such as the first Amazon Kindle, became available to consumers. The rise in ebook sales has been especially impressive over the past year, and has reached an impressive milestone: Ebooks outsold hardcovers in the U.S. last quarter for the first ever!

According to a new report from the Association of American Publishers (GalleyCat via Mashable), ebook sales from January to March of 2012 have brought in a total of $282.3 million, compared to $229.6 million for hard covers – and just a stone’s throw away from the nearly $300 million generated by sales of paperbacks!

It was really only a matter of time. With devices such as the Kindle, the Barnes and Noble Nook, and Apple’s iPad offering such a pleasurable reading experience, making ebooks so easy to obtain, and eliminating the need to store shelves full of books, it’s a natural choice for many users. Apple’s new iPad offers a further benefit: The Retina display shows higher quality text than most printed books!

A study recently published by Pew backs up this notion, finding a strong relation between sales of devices that can read ebooks and total ebook sales. As our lifestyles become more and more digitally focused, I wonder how long it will take for ebooks to outsell all paper books? I’d be surprised if we didn’t see that happen within 1-2 more years.

What about you? Have you been reading more ebooks than paper books lately? Do you see yourself buying more ebooks in the future?