With each new holiday season the reach of ereaders expands, as a new crop of Kindles, Nooks and iPads are fired up. The first thing to do is download a few books.
Just a few years after ebooks and ereaders first emerged as futuristic curiosity, they are fully mainstream now. Even among the avid, book-worshiping, old-school readers that frequent The Millions, ebooks are very popular. Looking at the statistics that Amazon provides us, 48% of all the books bought by Millions readers at Amazon after clicking on our links this year were Kindle ebooks. This is an uptick from last year, when the percentage was 45%. In 2012 it was 33% and the year before it was 25%. It seems almost fitting, given the tug-of-war between book and ebook partisans, that the numbers would eventually settle out near even, with neither format coming out the “winner.”
So, for all those readers unwrapping shiny new devices, here are some links to get you going.
For starters, The Millions published a pair of very highly regarded and very affordable ebook originals in 2013. If you are new to the ereader game, we hope you’ll pick up these titles:
Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever by Mark O’Connell ($1.99)
The Pioneer Detectives: Did a distant spacecraft prove Einstein and Newton wrong? by Konstantin Kakaes ($2.99)
Here are some of the most popular ebooks purchased by Millions readers in 2014 (which you’ll see are very similar to our Hall of Fame and most recent top-ten which take into account books in all formats). Publishers appear to still be having luck pricing ebooks pricing near the magic $9.99 number that has been a focus for many in the industry (all prices as of this writing), though aggressive pricing on some backlist titles is clearly driving brisk sales. Occasional promotional pricing, a frequent occurrence in the Kindle store, has likely driven some of these sales as well.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt ($6.99)
Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose ($1.99)
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter ($5.99)
Just Kids by Patti Smith ($8.62)
The Round House by Louise Erdrich ($8.61)
Tampa by Alissa Nutting ($9.78)
Fox 8 by George Saunders ($0.99)
A Highly Unlikely Scenario by Rachel Cantor ($9.99)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith ($6.99)
Underworld by Don Delillo ($11.74)
Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales by Ray Bradbury ($12.62)
Other potentially useful ebook links:
And in this fractured ebook landscape, you’ve also got your NookBooks, Google ebooks, Apple ibooks, and the IndieBound ereader app that lets you buy ebooks from your favorite indie bookstore. Finally, don’t forget Project Gutenberg, the original purveyor of free ebooks (mostly out-of-copyright classics).