The E-Book Has Its Day: Kindle Sales Outpace Hardcovers

Big news for publishers and bookish types: the number of electronic books sold on Amazon’s Kindle has exceeded the number of hardcover books sold through Amazon’s website, and by quite a bit. For every 100 hardcovers sold, 180 e-books were purchased, and presumably read, on the Kindle.


To some extent, then, e-books are replacing paper ones and the sales figures recently released by Amazon undoubtedly forecast the eventual elimination of publishing as we know it. Bookstores will eventually become hollow and ghostly just as CD stores are now. Sure, there will be a paper-book cult, just like there is now for rare and hard to find books; just like there is for vinyl.

At present, it would be interesting if someone of greater means than me was able to be proudly intelligent and analyze what class of book was being sold on the Kindle (because some books are better than others). My guess, based on a cursory look at what kinds of books are currently available on the Kindle, is that beach-reads and best-sellers get priority, and that’s to be expected until the publishing industry and e-reader technology advance further. Publishers should never abandon making money, for themselves or for their authors!

Trumpets will sound in celebration of the day when any and every book is available to download at the reader’s convenience. Those nostalgic for a book they can display "like a trophy" should get over the fact that they are indeed literate and join the rest of humanity in its amiable quest for survival.

Steampunk is really cool, but nobody seriously argues for the return of the mechanical age. Those yearning for paper-books will have weekend conventions on the fairgrounds; the happenings will be quaint and everyone will admire their own intellect. You will find me, if I can be found, with people more eager for the future.

Those who take pride in their appreciation of current paper-book aesthetics should be helping design the future instead of lamenting its inevitable approach. 

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less