The Rise of E-Reading

In April 2012, Pew Internet Research  published the results of a study on reading habits. The Reading Habits Survey (PDF, 68 pages) obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 2,986 people ages 16 and older living in the United States.

The report entitled “The Rise of E-Reading” shows that e-books are of growing importance in the US.

A fifth of American adults have read an e-book in the past year and the number of e-book readers grew after a major increase in ownership of e-book reading devices and tablet computers during the holiday gift-giving season.  A pre-holiday survey found that 17% of Americans age 18 and older had read an e-book in the previous 12 months and a post-holiday survey found that the number had grown to 21%. This coincides with significant increases in ownership of e-book reading devices and tablet computers over the holiday gift-giving season. Ownership of e-book readers like the original Kindle and Nook jumped from 10% in December to 19% in January and ownership of tablet computers such as iPads and Kindle Fires increased from 10% in mid-December to 19% in January. In all, 29% of Americans age 18 and older own at least one specialized device for e-book reading – either a tablet or an e-book reader.

The recently published fact sheet summary includes  data on market shares of different e-book readers:

” Among those who have read an e-book in the past 12 months:

  • 42% said they read their e-books on a computer
  • 41% consumed their e-books on an e-book reader like original Kindles or Nooks
  • 29% read their e-books on a cell phone
  • 23% consumed their e-books on a tablet computer.”
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