Sometimes it feels as if the literary world has divided into two warring camps – those who read e-books, and those who prefer print.

And now it turns out that how you read can help predict what you read.

Analyst firm Thinknum tracked top sales of books on Amazon last month and discovered a clear divide between Kindle readers and print buyers.


Kindle readers overwhelmingly bought fiction, while print readers had more diverse tastes.

Thrillers made up the bulk of e-book sales while self-help books were popular among the print buyers.

Here’s what the breakdown looks like (image courtesy Thinknum):

book sales

In the standard book category, March’s top seller was 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson.

Out of the top 10 physical books sold last month, four were self-help, three were novels, two were children’s books and one was a reference guide for Dungeons & Dragons.

In the Kindle section, thriller Say You’re Sorry by Melinda Leigh was the most downloaded.

Nine of the top 10 e-books were novels with just one non-fiction making the list.

So what does this tell us about Kindle readers and print fans?

Absolutely nothing.

Data collected from just one month of sales isn’t enough to point to a trend. And it’s certainly not enough to allow us to speculate.

Consumers are affected by many things – cost, advertising, word of mouth – it’s hard to pinpoint why they buy what they buy.

Whether on a screen, or on the page, I’m just glad people are reading at all.

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