Pew: More Americans Reading Ebooks, Prefer Buying to Borrowing

Apr 05, 2012

The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project released a new study on ebook readership in the United States. Pew found that 21% of Americans have read an ebook in the past year. The number of ebook readers grew after a major increase in ownership of ereaders and tablets during the 2011 holiday season, Pew reports.

In the study, the average ebook reader has read 24 books (the mean number) in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-ebook consumer. The increasing availability of econtent is prompting some to read more than in the past and to prefer buying books to borrowing them, according to Pew. Nearly one-third (30%) of those who read econtent say they now spend more time reading, the study found, and owners of tablets and ebook readers particularly stand out as reading more now.

Ebook prevalence is increasing rapidly, but printed books still dominate the world of book readers, Pew found. Survey respondents prefer ebooks to printed books when they want speedy access and portability, but print wins out when people are reading to children and sharing books with others.