For the First Time, E-Book Sales Top Real Books

An interesting article in today's New York Times, courtesy of the increasingly tech-savvy young journalists banging out copy for the Grey Lady. According to virtual bookseller extraordinaire Amazon.com, it is now selling 143 electronic books for its Kindle reader for every 100 physical hardcover books. For effete, left-wing e-book doubters like myself, Amazon's admission is more than a little shocking.

At the root of the story is Amazon's Kindle, the somewhat clunky, grayscale reader now in competition with Apple's iPhone and the Barnes and Noble doppelganger Nook. Compared to the low-resolution e-book readers of the early 2000's (think PalmPilot), all three current-generation devices are loaded with features to make electronic reading a seamless transition.

From screens that mimic paper to the announcement that new iPads will come complete with retina display, developers are no longer simply bundling e-reader technology as one more tool in a suite of products. E-books are front and center.

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