Yes, people did buy a heck of a lot of e-readers over Christmas
@glecharles tipped me to the chart above.
You’re looking at data collected by Google. You can probably guess that the lines on this chart represent how often the search terms are entered into Google. Note the gi-normous spike in late December 2010
January 2011 and the similar spikes in 2008 and 2009.
I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that the spike was caused by ereaders given as gifts each Christmas. I’d also bet that most if not all got an ereader for the first time, otherwise they would have already searched for free ebooks.
Update: Guy just pointed out that I had the date wrong. The spikes aren’t in January but are actually in late December. This actually makes the data fit better with what I’ve seen based on blog traffic.
Guy LeCharles Gonzalez May 27, 2011 um 9:52 am
Actually, that huge spike was on December 26, 2010, and it’s worth noting the difference between "ebooks" and "free ebooks." A lot of people who got an ereader for Christmas went looking for freebies!
Also, credit to Josh Hadro (@hadro) for the link; I just RTd it.
Nate Hoffelder May 27, 2011 um 10:19 am
Thanks for catching the date.
I couldn’t find his tweet (damn twitter), so i couldn’t link to it. That’s why I credited you.
El Saltine June 6, 2011 um 11:22 pm
The story is about e-readers not e-books.
Nate Hoffelder June 6, 2011 um 11:30 pm
I think you misunderstood his comment (or maybe I did, i don’t know).
Bill June 3, 2011 um 12:14 am
I got a similar spike at my site for the keyword "ereaders." I would think the last spike will be dwarfed again next Christmas, though it may be hampered just a bit by the economy and iPads. Good for free ebooks, certainly.