New research from the US exploring the reading behaviour of consumers has uncovered some interesting insights, in particular that those who read digitally claim to be reading more. One fifth of US adults have read an e-book in the past year and 30% of readers who read e-content claim that they are reading more.
Summary of key findings
A range of devices
- Of those who had read an e-book in the last year:
- 43% used an e-book reader
- 42% used a computer
- 29% used a smartphone and
- 23% used a tablet device
The importance of recommendations
- Users of e-reading devices are more likely to use recommendations than printed book readers:
- 81% of e-reading device users get book recommendations from people they know (as opposed to 64% of hardcopy readers)
- 31% use recommendations from bookstores (23% of hardcopy readers)
- 56% use online recommendations (35% of hardcopy readers)
- On a typical day, 56% of e-reading device owners are reading a book (compared with 45% of the general book-reading public)
- 30% of e-content readers say they are reading more
- 41% of tablet readers say they are reading more
- 35% of e-reader owners say they are reading more
- E-content readers have read an average of 24 books in the past 12 months (compared to 15 for hard copy readers)
What about libraries?
- Owners of e-reading devices are more likely to purchase than borrow
- 14% of all those surveyed obtained the last book they read from a library
- 75% of e-book readers begin their search for reading material online
- Only 12% start their search at the library
The e-book behavioural research was prepared by Princeton Survey Research Associates International for the PEW Research Centre’s Internet and American Life Project and the Gates Foundation.
Meanwhile, The 2012 State of America’s Libraries reports that more than 67% of US libraries are offering downloadable e-books and 28% are lending e-reading devices.