After years of anemic sales, e-books are starting to take off. As evidence: for the first time ever, Christmas Day shoppers on Amazon.com bought more books for their Kindles than they did regular books.
Obviously, this was an unusual situation -- Christmas Day isn't typically a big day for shopping, but virtually everyone who received a new Kindle e-book reader as a gift that day needed to download at least one book to try out their new device.
An E-book Milestone
The e-book has been around for years, but until recently there were questions about whether it would ever become a main-stream product. That changed with the success of the Amazon Kindle, which allows users to wirelessly purchase books from almost everywhere, and then read them on a device with a good screen and long battery life.
This retailer says the Kindle is "the most gifted item in Amazon's history".
With the success of Amazon's e-book reader -- which is on its second generation -- Barnes and Noble entered the market late this year with the nook.
More about the Kindle
The Amazon Kindle 2 debuted earlier this year. It has a 6-inch, 600-by-800-pixel e-Ink display that offers 16 shades of gray.
This device also sports 2 GB of memory, allowing it to hold more than 1,500 books.
The Kindle Store now includes over 390,000 books, including New York Times Bestsellers and New Releases.
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