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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

eBooks: The State of Play

They can no longer claim novelty value and eReaders and eBooks have long become part of the mainstream so it's good to see a survey suggesting that both these devices and eBook themselves are still in a tremendous growth period.

The report showed that as of February 2012, 21% of Americans had read an e-book, and that owners of e-readers read an average of eight books a year more than people without the devices.The surveys of 2,986 respondents, carried out in English and Spanish at the end of 2011 and the beginning2012, also showed that the average (calculated by mean) American reads 17 books a year.

However, 19% of respondents aged 16 and over said that they hadn't read a single book in any format, over the previous 12 months - the highest since such surveys on American reading habits began in 1978. If this figure is accurate, that means more than 50 million Americans don't read books at all.

While print remains the dominant medium for consuming books, the study found that four times as many people are reading e-books on a given day than two years ago.

Technology ownership had shifted significantly since previous surveys. In November 2010, 6% of Americans reported owning an e-reader; the figure is now 19%, with females aged 30-49 years old the most represented group. Amazon's Kindle is by far the most popular device, owned by 62% of e-book readers; Barnes and Noble's Nook has 22% of the market. When tablets are also factored in, the survey suggests that 28% of Americans aged 18 or older own a portable device that can be used as an e-book reader, not counting cell phones or computers.

Perhaps most interestingly, e-book readers are still voracious consumers of print books too; 58% of e-book owners said that they were reading a print book the previous day.

SOURCE - PEW RESEARCH CENTRE'S survey on American Internet and Reading Life.

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