A Special Note for All You New Kindle (And Other Ereader) Owners

December 24, 2010 | 11 books mentioned 7 2 min read

coverThe New York Times has been highlighting a new trend. With all the Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and whatnot being unwrapped on Christmas day, (to home in on just one of those devices, they say Amazon may have sold over 8 million Kindles this year), what was once a day of rest from shopping is likely to be a booming day for ebook sales. Some in the publishing industry are even beginning to see the ebook emergence as a ray of light in a stagnant industry.

It’s pretty clear by now that ebooks and ereaders are a fully mainstream technology. Even among the avid, book-worshiping, life-long readers that frequent The Millions, ebooks are surprisingly popular. in fact, looking at the statastics that Amazon provides us, about 15% of all the books bought by Millions readers at Amazon after clicking on our links were Kindle ebooks. Put another way, that’s about one out of every seven books.

So, for all those readers unwrapping shiny new devices, here are some links to get you going.

For starters, here are the top-ten most popular ebooks purchased by Millions readers in 2010. You’ll notice that these aren’t all that different from the overall Millions favorites — to the extent that they are different from other books popular with our readers, these books tend to skew towards the page-turner (Tolstoy notwithstanding) and the cheaper (all but one are, as of this writing, at or below the $9.99 magic ebook price point).

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson ($5.20)
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell ($7.66)
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan ($9.34)
The Death of Ivan Ilych and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky ($4.46)
Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart ($9.10)
Faithful Place by Tana French ($12.99)
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen ($9.99)
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson ($7.57)
The Passage by Justin Cronin ($9.45)
Tinkers by Paul Harding ($5.68)

Other potentially useful ebook links:

Editors’ Picks
Best of 2010
Top 100 Paid and Free

And in this fractured ebook landscape, you’ve also got your NookBooks, Borders ebooks, Google ebooks, and Apple ibooks. All of these purveyors happen to do a brisk “business” in “selling” free, out-of-copyright ebooks, but readers may prefer Project Gutenberg, an unaffiliated site that’s been making free ebooks available for years.

Happy Reading!

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.


  1. I still believe it will take a totally different strategy to overcome mainstream resistance to restriction of basic book usage rights in the ebook arena.

    With that said I just bought me an android tablet and have filled it full of free ebooks from around the web.

    Between the library and the 2k of freebooks i put on my tablet, I doubt Amazon will see me soon.

  2. And iBooks has a much more attractive interface. If an e-book is available in both iBook or Kindle formats (I have the Kindle app on my iPad), I always go for the iBook version.

  3. One book I read on Kindle is Uncle Flynn by Simon Dillon – an absolutely cracking story, and well worth getting (its available as a download from Amazon or from Smashwords).

  4. Beward, potential e-reader purchaser: if I had known in advance the sorry state of e-book editing, I might not have bought my Nook. I’m paying premium prices for new releases ($15 for Stephen King’s Under the Dome, $15.40 for Carsten Jensen’s We, the Drowned) and finding them full of typos and formatting errors that would never be tolerated in hardcover of paperback. Obviously, errors are being introduced during the e-book conversion process, but publishers are not proofreading the electronic versions of books before releasing them for sale. A quick Google search reveals hundreds and hundreds of similar complaints. Obviously it is a known problem. Why hasn’t it been fixed?

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