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E-Books Outsell Printed Ones, To Nobody's Great Surprise

nook e-readerAh, what unsurprising news a year can bring! Just as everyone predicted, e-books continued to nibble at the ankles of their printed forebears this holiday season, with between three and five million e-readers activated in the week after Christmas. Barnes and Noble claimed that it sold a million e-books on December 25th alone, while Amazon's been outselling print bestsellers with digital ones since October, according to USA Today. That newspaper's own Best-Selling Books, coming out on Thursday, will show that digital editions of the top six books outsold the print versions in the last week, and that 19 of the top 50 titles had higher digital sales than print ones.

As if there were any wonder about what kind of readers are buying into the e-book trend, it's most certainly the bestseller crowd. Paul Bogaards of Knopf, the U.S. publisher of Stieg Larsson's unstoppably popular 'Millenium' trilogy, said that 165,000 Larsson e-books and 155,000 print versions were bought last week alone. Putting those numbers aside, however, it's not as though the printed book will disappear tomorrow. Kelly Gallagher of the publishing research firm Bowker told USA Today that the recent e-book sales boost isn't a "sustainable trend," saying that sales in 2011 may double those of last year but will still flatten out. Sure, the spike in sales will taper off as people become less excited by their new gadgets -- but that won't make that old paper pulp any more attractive to digitally converted consumers.

Tags: amazon, books, deathofprint, e-book, e-reader, E-readers, holidays, media, StiegLarsson, top