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Has the age of eBooks arrived?

The eBook world seems to be growing exponentially these days.  

According to the folks over at Apple, they sold three million iPads sold in 80 days at $500 a pop.  In that same period of time, over 1.5 million eBooks were downloaded from their iStore

The numbers for Amazon’s Kindle have been kept more secretive.  Back in January, 2010, it was estimated that approximately 2.5 million Kindles had been sold. When the price of the Kindle dropped to $189, and Jeff Bezo’s reported sales of the unit had tripled.

In July, the price of the Kindle (wi-fi, not 3G) dropped to $139 and the pre-orders on the unit were sold out in less than a week.  There is a waiting list, with wait list deliveries being estimated on September 17, 2010.  Amazon  reports that for the last quarter, eBooks for the Kindle are outselling actual physical books sold at Amazon.  One hundred and forty-three eBooks sold for every hundred physical books.  

Barnes and Noble has stated that one year after the launch of the Nook, eBooks now hold a greater market percentage than physical books.

It does appear that the time of the eBook has arrived.  Does that mean that the demise of paper books is foretold?  Unlikely.  There is something about going into The Book Revue in Huntington or BookHampton or Canios in Sag Harbor, picking up a book and browsing its pages.  Talking to the sales folks and other customers about what they are reading and buying a new book, its pages crisp and white.  But then again, who says you can’t do both?

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