I first read this information last week, but then was blocked from viewing the article (the NY Times now requires you to register and sign in to read their articles online...). Still, the information seemed relevant so I went digging for it and found another article.
The gist? Amazon's Kindle ebook sales now surpass their hardback sales. (I get a little "eww" about hardbacks because they're so heavy--you might as well order a damn stone tablet to read, IMO. I'll be dancing naked when ebook sales bypass paperback, but hey. This is a milestone. Certainly.) According to this article (and the now cockblocked NY Times one), during the last 3 months Amazon sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardback books -- and this despite an increase in hardback sales. During the previous 1 month, the number jumped to 180 Kindle books for every hardback. Wow. Just a sidenote to add perspective here, this number includes hardback books which have no ebook version(and I got this info from that top-secret members-only article). It does not include all those free out-of-copyright ebooks. So, hey. It is really a big deal.
I met someone this month who is now stockpiling her print books and won't part with any because her husband tells her they will be worth lots of money some day since they are on their way out. That seems a long way off to me. But hey. I can see a point in a matter of a few years, when print books will get even more expensive because they'll be considered a luxury item, or environmentally unkind. Certainly I love my print books--especially those I can sign and give out to readers! But I also love ebooks for their functionality, price, and tiny carbon footprint. Plus, I never have to worry about returns on ebooks, which means I won't be missing a hunk of my royalties down the road if some bookstore over-orders and then changes its mind. And that's a good thing.
Romance is sexy!