Modern technology gives us many things.

Kindle ebook sales overtake print for the first time

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amazonthumbebook sales

Amazon, the creator of the Kindle ereader, has announced ebooks are now outselling printed books for the first time.

Less than four years after the 2007 introduction of the Kindle, Amazon says customers are buying more ebooks than hardback and paperback books combined.

As of April 1, for every 100 print books Amazon sold, there were 105 Kindle books purchased.  

Free Kindle books have been excluded from these numbers and would have made the figures look even more impressive.

“Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books. We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly – we’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon.com.

The Kindle device itself – which starts at $US139 plus shipping costs – is available to Australians to purchase and can be used to browse, buy and download ebooks wirelessly.

The Amazon Kindle ebook readerSo far in 2011 sales of the Kindle ereaders are three times higher than the same period in 2010 which means there are even more customers eager to feed their device more ebooks.

There are more than 950,000 ebooks in the Kindle store which includes new releases and 109 of the 111 New York Times best sellers.

More than 790,000 books are cheaper than $US9.99 with millions of free out of copyright, pre-1923 books also available to read on the Kindle.

One attractive feature of the Kindle and the Kindle Store is the ability to read your Kindle ebooks anywhere whether it is on the Kindle itself or on other products like the iPhone, iPad, Android device, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, PC or Mac computer using a Kindle app.

And even if you read the same book on one device and pick it up again on another the app will also remember where you were up to and give readers the choice of taking them to that page instantly.

There are now a flood of ereaders on the market including the Kobo from Borders and the Nook from the US book chain Barnes and Noble.

Apple iPad can also be used an ereader and also has its own iBook store.

The many advantages of ereaders include being able to carry around a library of books a single device and the ability to increase the font size to suit the reader.

The Kindle and other ebook have a paper-like e-ink screen which makes it easy on the eyes to read for extended periods. Another big plus is the screen hardly uses any power and can last for weeks on a single charge.