Mobile Phone Reading on the Rise

Oct 09, 2014

A survey by Publishing Technology revealed an increasing number of people are now using their mobile phones to read ebooks. The survey of 3,000 consumers across the U.S. and U.K. found that 43% have read an ebook, or part of an ebook, on their handsets, and that 66% (59% U.K./ 72% U.S.) of mobile phone book readers currently read more on their phones than they did last year.

However, despite the mobile phone's overall growth in appeal and popularity as a reading device, the survey discovered that readers, particularly those in the U.K., tend to read on their handsets infrequently and in much shorter bursts, compared to the amount of time they would spend reading printed books or ebooks on tablets and ereaders.

Just 26% of British mobile phone book readers use their devices to read more than once a week in contrast to 53% of their American counterparts. Two thirds of Brits (65%) like to spend less than 30 minutes reading on their mobile phones at each sitting, whereas half (50%) of Americans are comfortable spending more than 30 minutes on each mobile phone reading session.

In the U.S., 46% of mobile readers claimed they regularly finish books on their phones, with 34% reading books across multiple devices, including their handsets. Curiously in the UK the completion rate is far lower at just 17%, with 28% regularly switching between devices. Exactly half of all respondents said they read exactly the same content on their phones as they do on other formats with 29% suggesting they preferred to indulge in shorter content forms on their mobiles.

According to respondents who were opposed to reading full-length books on their phones, the main turn offs were: general lack of convenience (40%, mobile phone over usage (31%), unpleasant overall reading experience (33%) and ease of use and accessibility shortcomings with platforms (24%).