amazon kindle with books1 1 Milestone: Kindle e books sales overtake paperback books on Amazon.comIn its 4th quarter earnings report, Amazon made a huge and very exciting announcement that Kindle e-books have officially overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Amazon.

Last July, Amazon announced that Kindle books had passed hardcovers and predicted that Kindle would surpass paperbacks in the second quarter of this year. According to Jeff Bezos, for every 100 hardcover books Amazon is selling, it sells 143 Kindle eBooks. To date, the U.S. Kindle Store offers more than 810,000 books.

We’ve been tracking the rise of e-books over the past few years, and while we’re not altogether surprised by this announcement, it’s undoubtedly a groundbreaking turn of events for the publishing industry.

In addition, Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com announced that the company had its first $10 billion dollar quarter.

From Amazon’s report:

Amazon.com is now selling more Kindle books than paperback books. Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the Company has sold 115 Kindle books. Additionally, during this same time period the Company has sold three times as many Kindle books as hardcover books. This is across Amazon.com’s entire U.S. book business and includes sales of books where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the numbers even higher.

This year, Amazon released its 3rd Generation Kindle with built-in Wi-Fi ($139, $189) and new Pearl e-ink display, which made reading pleasurable on an electronic device, an experience that is still unparalleled. While the iPad weighs 1.6lbs, the new Kindle only weighs 8.7oz. It boasts a month of battery life and provides storage for about 3,500 books.

In the October issue of Wired Magazine, author Steven Levy writes, “Is there a place for the Kindle in a tabletized world?” In the words of Jeff Bezos, “The number one app for the iPad when I checked a couple of days ago was called Angry Birds- a game where you throw birds at pigs and they blow up. The number one thing on the Kindle is Stieg Larsson. It’s a different audience.”

Harnessing the power of the Kindle as the ultimate electronic reading device, e-books have surpassed paper books in the world’s largest online bookstore. Apologies for sounding cliche, but the future is here.