PEW STUDY: E-Books, Shante You Stay! Print Books, Shante You Stay Too! E-books and Print Books BFF 4Ever!!!

Today, Pew Internet released report on e-reading. Everyone's covering it, here and here.

Here are some key findings:

E-reading is becoming popular:
"In mid-December 2011, 17% of American adults had reported they read an e-book in the previous year; by February, 2012, the share increased to 21%."
Readers who e-read read a shit lot--not just ebooks
"88% of those who read e-books in the past 12 months also read printed books. Compared with other book readers, they read more books. They read more frequently for a host of reasons: for pleasure, for research, for current events, and for work or school. They are also more likely than others to have bought their most recent book, rather than borrowed it, and they are more likely than others to say they prefer to purchase books in general, often starting their search online....The average reader of e-books says she has read 24 books (the mean number) in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer."
E-reading makes readers
30% of those who read e-content say they now spend more time reading, and owners of tablets and e-book readers particularly stand out as reading more now.
But print is not dead:
"In our December 2011 survey, we found that 72% of American adults had read a printed book and 11% listened to an audiobook in the previous year, compared with the 17% of adults who had read an e-book."
From this, we can extropolate some trends:

  • E-books will continue to grow. Thus any publisher not offering ebooks will probably be missing out.
  • E-books are making people read. Think of the consequences of this--more people reading! But is it because it's new, or because e-readers and e-books are getting cheaper and more accessible.
  • Print will remain side-by-side with ebooks: they serve different purposes:

I haven't read the entire study yet (it's 60+ pages, and without a hard copy, I'm very unlikely to read the entire thing), but it is an important report on our reading habits. Take notes publishers and writers!

Download the report here.

Now all we need is a follow up to this report from 2004: Literary Reading in Dramatic Decline.

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