Thursday, April 5, 2012

E-Reading reseach as reported by Shelf Awareness today

Nothing surprising here, although it is encouraging that the stats indicate that digital continues to prove to be a format option and not a replacement for the printed book.  Books still work great. 

Pew Research Center Study: Americans Are E-Reading

One-fifth of American adults (21%) say they have read an e-book during the past year, according to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project study, which also noted a marked increase in e-readership following the holiday season. In mid-December 2011, 17% of American adults had reported they read an e-book in the previous year.

The study, which was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, found that about 43% of Americans age 16 and older read long-form digital text (e-books and magazines) and many said they are reading more because the material is in a digital format. Among respondents, the average e-book consumer read 24 books (the mean number) in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer.

The study also noted that 88% of those who read an e-book during the past year also read a printed book. Overall, 72% of adults read a print book, compared to the 21% who read an e-book and 11% who listened to an audiobook.

Among the 14% of Americans age 16 and up who read both print books and e-books, readers preferred e-books when they wanted to get a book quickly (83%), when they were traveling or commuting (69%) and when they were looking for a wide selection (53%). However, print editions were strongly preferred when it came to reading to children (81%) and sharing books with others (69%).

Other significant findings from the Pew Internet Project survey:
  • Owners of e-reading devices are more likely than all Americans 16 and older to get book recommendations from people they know (81% vs. 64%) and bookstore staff (31% vs. 23%). In addition, compared with the general public, owners of e-reading devices who use the Internet are also more likely to get recommendations from online bookstores or other websites (56% vs. 34%).
  • Amazon's Kindle Fire grew in market share from 5% in mid-December to 14% of the tablet market by mid-January. Apple's iPad dominates the market, with a 61% share, as of this past February.
  • Among those who do not own tablet computers or e-book reading devices, the main reasons people said they do not own the devices are: 1) they don't need or want one, 2) they can't afford one, 3) they have enough digital devices already or 4) they prefer printed books.

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