E-reading on the rise but print books still dominate

E-book vs tree book

New research by the Pew Internet and American Life Project shows that the percentage of American adults who read an e-book in the past year has risen to 28 percent, up from 23 percent in 2012.

Yet the tree book isn't dead yet, at least in the popularity sense, as the results show most e-book readers read print books as well and only four percent are e-only readers.

What's interesting is that, regardless of format, reading remains a popular pastime. In the last year 76 percent of American adults have read a book with the typical reader consuming five. This is a median figure which, the report explains, gives a better picture of behavior than an average -- no, I didn’t pay attention in statistics lessons either.

The report also indicates that e-book reading devices are spreading through the population. The survey, conducted in January, shows that 42 percent of adults now own a tablet (up from 34 percent in September). Ownership of dedicated e-readers like the Kindle and Nook jumped from 24 percent in September to 32 percent after the holidays. To provide some contrast you should note that only four percent owned an e-reader in 2010.

Although tablets and e-readers are the most popular ways to read e-books the survey also shows that computers and cell phones are regularly used too. Use of computers to read e-books has declined since 2011, however.

Looking at the demographics shows that across all formats women read more books than men and 18-29-year-olds read more than other age groups, though this could have something to do with the numbers still in education.

You can read the full report on the Pew Internet and American Life Project website. If you’d rather read a good book my publisher would like me to point out that my latest novel One Hot Summer is available in both e-book and print formats, thank you.

Photo Credit: Fineart1 / Shutterstock

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