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back to article Top 10 Kindle books outsell dead-tree versions 2-1

Amazon's top 10 books are selling twice as many digital editions as hardback and paperback combined, although the company still isn't providing any hard figures to back up the claim. In July Amazon said that digital editions were outselling paper books overall, but now the top 1,000 books are selling more digital editions than …

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Silver badge

Oh yes

Not telling us what popular tripe the kindle-kiddies are into then. I suspect it's Dan Brown and teen vampire fluff all round.

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Title

That's a bit elitist, isn't it? With the alternative entertainments around vying for attention I'd say any reading is a step in the right direction. Yes, even [chokes back the taste of sick] Dan Brown

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Probably not

My understanding is that the "yoof of today" are a bunch of illiterate thugs who would have no interest in reading anything longer than a Twitter post or text message and that the only way they would have a Kindle is if they'd beaten it out of some yuppie.

On a more serious note, the people I most often see using Kindles are, in fact, professionals of the white-collar class. Granted, that's during my morning commute, so it makes sense. Nonetheless, I haven't seen any "kindle-kiddies," more "Kindle adults." Sorry to puncture your stereotype.

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Anonymous Coward

No

Actually read a Dan Brown novel. Closely. Study his use of metaphor and simile. You'll notice that half the time his language is fighting itself.

It's a form of unreading, or unlearning.

Your argument is like claiming that smoking is good for you, because at least you're inhaling oxygen.

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Silver badge

I wish Kindle was a configurable option

As somebody who looks up obscure books, I quite like the Amazon Marketplace. It is also highly amusing to pay €3 postage and €0.01 for a good condition book.

However I don't have a Kindle, nor do I have the desire to get one. The push towards Kindle is very in-your-face, I wish there was an option to "don't show Kindle content".

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Pint

There is

Put "-kindle" at the end of your search (don't include the quotation marks) and you get the hits minus the kindle versions.

You might want to check the advanced search options too;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/browse.html/ref=sv_b_0/026-2106387-2002057?ie=UTF8&node=125552011

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Kindle Good, Paper Bad.

I got a Kindle recently and it is really rather good. It's one of those things I bought thinking "hmm, will it be any use and will I care in a couple of weeks" but actually I do. I've read far more material than I've read in years in book form, just because it makes it more portable, and I can read books to suit my mood. I tend to be reading several books at once, but as I don't have to carry them all around, it makes that more accessible and feasible.

I can well believe that the digital versions are more popular.

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Kindle bad

Not available in Malaysia :(

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Anonymous Coward

I would, but ...

... kindle + spliff + reading in the bath = ???

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I love my Kindle

I'm with Vince. I got my Kindle a couple of months ago and have rediscovered the joy of recreational reading. Especially once I got the leather cover for it. It now feels like a book, and it takes no time at all to forget about the medium and focus on the content. It's also great for series reading. I've long wanted to systematically work my way through Discworld, but in a small home, 40-odd extra books would be challenging to store. No such problem with the Kindle. For these reasons I too have no problem seeing how digital sales could significantly exceed dead-tree sales. All I need now is for Amazon to expand the library available to users here in NZ.

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Anonymous Coward

Errm?

They only included new sales direct from Amazon. No used sales or sales from other sellers on the Amazon Marketplace then?

Like comparing apples and toast.

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Welcome

Book availability

The greatest thing about the Kindle is that you can read a review of a book which takes your fancy, and be reading the novel itself a minute later. It definitely encourages more spontaneous purchases (as my bank balance can testify).

Like Heyrick above, I've also bought often from Amazon marketplace and those sellers are great for finding out-of-print or hard-to-get books that catch your eye. I really hope that publishers will take these ebook sales figures to heart and start re-releasing older or obscure novels that are no longer freely available (and at a reasonable price, please!) Beyond the cost of initial conversion to digital, what do they really have to lose? Having said that, it's not just older books that have a problem with availability. A certain fantasy novel being released next week will be hardback only. The ebook will not be available for another year, until the paperback is released. Jeez, publishers, get it together!

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Bronze badge

You're the odd one out then.

Notice that the *top 10* ebooks are outselling physical books.

It's the inverse-long-tail effect all over again. They said mp3 downloads would widen our musical tastes, and that music would have a longer "shelf-life", but in the end, we found that more people were just buying the latest big thing.

Same here with books -- everyone's buying the latest and greatest, and the out-of-print buyers are a minority.

Is it simply that the internet isn't good for (oh irony!) browsing books or is it that the infinite supply means you never pick up an alternative when the item you were looking for isn't in stock?

Either way, freedom seems to mean discovering less.

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Megaphone

Kindle all the way

"Not telling us what popular tripe the kindle-kiddies are into then. I suspect it's Dan Brown and teen vampire fluff all round."

If you'd taken 5 seconds to look at the list on Amazon you'd know that wasn't the case...

I bought my girlfriend one of these for university - she's an English student so she reads her fair share - and not only is it great for reading on but it's saved us both an absolute fortune in text books for our courses, which usually cost £40+

Worth every last penny.

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Boffin

Is it Amazon's dead tree sales...?

... or whole market, because with Kindle I guess there's only Amazon, whereas in "open source" dead tree there are a plethora of outlets...

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Alert

Free books -- that's an order!

But what about the free books that you can 'order' through Amazon? To download these, you have to place an order with them, costing you '0.00'. And you will get emailed an order confirmation.

So do we know which books are in that top 1000, and how many are actually free?

I like statistics... Word them the right way, and you can interpret actual data any way you want (probably to your advantage).

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Totally agreed

Well, the title of this post reads: "Top 10 Kindle books outsell dead-tree versions 2-1".

By my count, 5 of the top 10 Kindle books cost $0.00.

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Go

LIQUIDITY in the market please!

Once liquidity to all devices from one central location is enabled with shops selling freely - not solely through iTunes which I personally hate - perhaps everyone will be a winner.

The music industry is stuck in the 80s where people believe Simon Cowell is "better than Jesus".

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Not just the kindle

The kindle app is available all over the place - I use it on the ipad (which I much prefer having used eink with a sony reader and hating every minute of the 2 weeks of before I sold it).

Now if they could just make a waterproof ebook reader... I'm not going to risk a £500 (or even a £200) device to read in the bath.

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don't know about iPad...

But a ziplock bag works just perfectly with my sony reader. Just one more advantage over paper.

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WTF?

Re: keyboard

Interesting, you look at the keyboard as a negative? You do understand why the keyboard is there, right? You'd use it to search across the book or the kindle store or your installed dictionaries. Having the alternative - a touchscreen keyboard - would make the Kindle useless. Touchscreen readers aren't readers, they're gimmicks that detract from reading and market to those with the same short attention span your article describes (that would probably stem from the constant ipad vs kindle comparisons you keep seeing which are completely meaningless).

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Silver badge

How/Why, etc?

"Having the alternative - a touchscreen keyboard - would make the Kindle useless."

I've tried, but I do not understand how you can say this. Temporarily overlaying a QWERTY keyboard onto part of a reader screen, for notes or search string entry, does not affect the devices suitability for reading books.

If you mean that a touchscreen is not as good as a dedicated display only screen (contrast, clarity, brightness, etc), then that may be true in absolute terms. However, the latest Sony e-ink touchscreen displays are very good indeed and I suggest that you find a store display to check out the PRS-350/650

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Anonymous Coward

Other reasons

I was originally sceptical about a Kindle, but having seen and used one I was impressed. The first think I did notice was that the screen was very clear and matt (almost perfect in fact) and immediately commented that it was a good thing it had a separate keyboard as the screen would get grubby in no time.

A touch screen would be, in my opinion, a definite down point.

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Bronze badge

No list or link?

So what are the top 10 books?

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Happy

I really like mine as well

I'm with the above posters, I love my kindle...

Leave house, keys, wallet and phone check now includes the kindle in check list.

My bank account however could grow to fear the kindle ;-)

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Alert

At a guess..

I'd say the top sellers are mostly super cheap or free books, and then the most sold titles in the paper stock lines were counted. No confirmation that the Kindle best "sellers" were the same books as the paper best sellers.

Standard Amazon PR release.. "We are doing really really well.", then "we are doing even better"..

Lots of announcements of success, no hard figures from anybody. So basically.. no information. Although I don't doubt that they are selling well.

As far as e-book readers in general go.. They are great. If you haven;t used one for a few days, you don't actually realise how pleasant they are to use. And it's more of an adult/mature reader gizmo than a young adult one, which is possibly why there are so many gadget blogs who seem offended by this device.

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Has anyone looked at the other end...

...and seen that there are several ebooks costing over £3000 (yes, £3000) each.

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Bronze badge

It has its uses

As a real book lover, and a researcher who needs out-of-print and often very obscure books, I know that I will never be a serious Kindle user. As a book lover, I also resist the loss of physical books. And as an author, I love the tangible versions of my novels, not something that disappear if electricity disappears.

On the other hand, I enjoyed a beach holiday with my wife recently and she brought her new Kindle and read happily all week, while I finished my one big book and was left trying to cadge her Kindle when she was doing other things. And I also like the idea that I might have increased sales, once I get my books in digital format. I dread being 'locked in' to one vendor, so am studying the benefits of digital before I plunge in.

Downside to Kindle: the keyboard is too big, IMHO, and lying in bed listening to the click-click-click as your partner turns the pages is really irritating. I don't like the 'black-out' as you move to new pages, although one gets used to it.

I see the Kindle as a perfect tool for high-volumne recreational reading. They aren't suitable for research, as they are too cumbersome to flip back-and-forth through, or use alongside other books. But if you want a stack of books and to impulse-buy from reviews, it really is brilliant. And downloading on a distant beach, far from a wifi connection, was awesome.

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