Pew: As eReader and tablet sales rise, so does eBook reading

People are buying more Kindles, Nooks and iPads

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life project found that 21 percent of American adults reported reading an eBook in their February 2012 survey. This was up from 17 percent in mid-December--and Pew believes it was propelled by more people getting tablets or eReader devices as presents over the holidays.

When Pew broadened the definition to include any digital content such as newspapers or magazines, so long as it was read on an eReader device, tablet, computer or cell phone, that number increased to 43 percent of respondents.

What's more people who are buying eBook readers, appear to be doing so because they love to read and it's an easy way to consume books. Pew found that the average ebook consumer read 24 books (with a median of 13) in the last 12 months compared to 15 (with a median of 6) for people who don't use eBook reading devices.

One other interesting finding was that 30 percent reported reading more since they got an eReading device and the longer a person owns such a device, the more likely this is true. In fact, 41 percent of respondents who have owned an eReader or tablet for more than a year, say they are reading more as opposed to 35 percent of those who owned such a device for less than 6 months.

That said, while electronic reading is rising, print still dominates with 72 percent of respondents saying they had read a printed book in the last year. Most people I know who have eReading devices or tablets continue to read both print and digital, so that's not surprising.

Nor is it surprising that the numbers show a slow but steady shift to digital book reading. As the devices get cheaper and more prevalent, that is only likely to increase and the shift from paper to digital will become more pronounced.

For more information including much more detail on the results:
- see the report on the Pew website

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