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UK e-reader sales exceed 1.3 million in Christmas run-up

5th January 2012

Over 1.3 million e-readers were sold in the run-up to Christmas, according to the latest research, with the devices proving the most popular festive gift in the country.

A survey conducted by analyst YouGov shows that one in 40 adults received an e-reader on December 25th as the popularity of digital books continued to increase.

It follows a separate study carried out by YouGov on behalf of KPMG for its Media and Entertainment Barometer, which showed that, since September 2009, downloads of eBooks have increased by 100 per cent.

Marek Yaygelt, head of technology and telecoms consulting at the analyst, commented: 'This is finally the year when the late-medieval technology of the printing press was challenged by a 21st-century, digital alternative.'

However, he noted that digital downloads still only account for a relatively small proportion of books sold, with tangible copies still preferred by readers.

Last week, Futurebook's weighted digital bestsellers chart for 2011 revealed that Benjamin Daniels' Confessions of a GP was the biggest selling eBook of the year, beating off stiff competition from Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Stephen Leather's The Basement, which were the second and third most downloaded titles, respectively.

Recently, Bloomsbury digital director Stephanie Duncan claimed any upswing in digital purchases will be followed by a rise in the number of paperbacks and hardbacks being bought as readers recommend titles and word of mouth spreads.

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