Amazon: Kindle Books Finally Eclipse Paperbacks

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Internet retail giant released its Q4 2010 earnings yesterday, highlighted by “two big milestones” according to company founder Jeff Bezos.

Amazon reported Q4 as the first quarter that it cleared $10 billion in sales—it almost hit $13 billion, actually, with the final tally settling in at $12.95 billion. The company also revealed that Q4 marked the first time that its Kindle e-books outsold paperback books.

According to the company’s earning’s release:

“ is now selling more Kindle books than paperback books. Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the Company has sold 115 Kindle books. Additionally, during this same time period the Company has sold three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books. This is across’s entire U.S. book business and includes sales of books where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the numbers even higher.”

This makes total sense to me and mirrors my consumption of Kindle books, provided you lop off the first digit of each number used by Amazon to demonstrate the sales ratio of paperbacks to e-books. I bought 00 paperback books from Amazon this year and 15 Kindle books.

I rarely purchase full books for several reasons—lack of time, lack of motivation, fear of being “whisked away,” and an aversion to reading anything after reading the internet all day—to name a few, so if Amazon’s selling me 15 electronic books every year, they’re really on to something.

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