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Amazon sells more ebooks than paperbacks -- and more Kindles than Harry Potters

Amazon is selling more more ebooks than paperback books -- and more Kindles than anything else, including the final adventure of a certain boy wizard.

Amazon is selling more more ebooks than paperback books. In the last three months of 2010, digital books for the Amazon Kindle 3G outsold their soft-covered counterparts for the first time. And that's not all: Amazon has sold more Kindles than any other item on its virtual shelves.

The online book seller -- well, everythingseller, if we're honest -- sold 115 ebooks for every 100 paperback books sold. Yowsers. It's keeping schtum about how many Kindles have shifted, but the total is higher than the final Harry Potter book, the next highest-selling item.

Amazon revealed this nugget when announcing its earnings this week. The company made $10bn in total sales for the first time, up 36 per cent over the previous quarter.

This doesn't include Amazon Marketplace, the network of third-party sellers and normal people using Amazon's site to sell their own stock and secondhand items. We'd guess paperbacks are doing a roaring trade off the books, so to speak: when faced with the option of paying for a new paperback, we'll usually go for the cheaper 'new and used' option.

Why, just the other day, this Craver bought Mr Love and Justice, the classic tale of 1950s London's seedy underbelly by Colin MacInnes, for a mere 1p. Plus £2.80 postage, but you get the point -- ebooks have no such cheaper option.

If you're thinking of starting a new chapter in your reading habits but can't decide which ebook reader to plump for, take a look at our comparison of the Kindle 3G, Apple iPad and Sony Reader Touch.