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Dead Trees Make Great Gifts!

Were e-books really the death of Dead Tree books or are we always going to crave the sensation of turning a real page and hearing the sound of the paper rustle?

And consequently, are brick-and-mortar booksellers dying, unable to provide the immediate gratification of buying an e-book online?

We've used our panel of over 3 million credit and debit cards in the U.S. to track spending on Amazon Kindle vs. Barnes & Noble.

In 2016, Amazon Kindle (books, newspapers/magazines and Kindle Unlimited subscriptions combined) showed substantially more transactions than Barnes & Noble did:

The seamlessness of making a purchase on the Kindle seems to contribute to more frequent purchases. That said, Barnes & Noble offsets that frequency with an average transaction size that's 3 times larger:

This results in a cumulative spend at Barnes & Noble that was more than twice as much as on Amazon Kindle:

If bookstores are dying, it hasn't happened yet and we can think of one reason why.

When we view spend by month between 12/2015 and 12/2016, Barnes & Noble shows huge peaks around the Holiday season - physical books are a great gift! Kindle shows no peak at all during the holidays.

Until people feel the same joy about giving and receiving e-books as gifts, their paper siblings will be just fine.

Learn more about consumer spending analytics with TXN.