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A milestone for e-books: Amazon sells more Kindle books than print

It was bound to happen eventually. Amazon announced today that it’s now selling more Kindle e-books than both hardcover and paperback books combined.

That’s a major shift for Amazon, which has been selling physical books for more than 15 years but has only been offering e-books for less than four years. Amazon also made it clear that it wasn’t counting free Kindle book sales.

Now for the first time ever, the term “book store” can refer to a book retailer that sells more digital books than physical copies.

Driving the e-book charge was Amazon’s recently announced ad-supported Kindle, which retails for $114. Amazon said the ad-supported Kindle has “quickly become the bestselling member of the Kindle family” in its first five weeks on the market.  Though, as usual, the company didn’t offer up any specific sales numbers.

Amazon said that since April 1, it has sold 105 Kindle e-books for every 100 print books. The strong e-book sales also led Amazon to see its fastest year-over-year growth for all book sales. The company also says it has sold more than three times as many Kindle books this year than in the same period in 2010. Amazon now has more than 950,000 Kindle titles available for sale.

Kindle book sales show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. We need only count the days until Amazon’s next milestone: when digital books account for twice as many sales as physical books.

We recently reported that overall e-book sales in the US exploded this past February (tripling sales from last year) to surpass paper books.

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