An Amazon spokesman said in an email that "the big surprise" was that the edition of the book for the company's Kindle electronic-book reader outsold hardcover editions on the book's release day, excluding pre-orders.
This is a first, as far as we know, and we wonder if it marks the beginning of a trend in which e-versions of hotly anticipated books will outsell hardcovers. We suspect many Lost Symbol buyers were motivated, as we were, as much by a desire to get the book in a hurry as by a preference for the Kindle. (Speaking of which, hey Doubleday, where's our review copy??) Will more publishers choose to counter this trend by delaying release of e-books until weeks or months after a hardcover release? Time will tell.