Well, here’s one growth industry in the middle of our dire economic straits: According to a new survey of sales revenue provided by more than 2,000 publishers in the U.S., book sales are rising, with e-book revenue growing a surprising 1,274% between 2008 and 2010.
Revenue on e-books reached $878 million in 2010, with sales hitting 114 million copies in that year, an increase of 1,039% over 2008 sales. Part of that growth comes from customers going from store shopping to online shopping: Online spending rose 55.2% between 2008 and 2010, according to the survey, with sales growing 68.6% in the period of the survey.
Obviously, the release of more user-friendly e-book readers during this period contributed to the jump in the market; 2011 is anecdotally the best year yet for e-book sales with sales on the iPad, Kindle, Nook and other devices said to be reaching new highs. Frustratingly, that information isn’t contained in this survey—but I’m sure that publishers and device makers won’t be too embarrassed to tell us when records are broken, nonetheless.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.