Are You Part of the E-Reading Trend?

E-Reading WordleHave you read an e-book recently?

If you said yes, it’s likely that you:

  • Read more books, including print versions, than those who say no. The average e-book reader reports reading 24 books in the past 12 months. This compares to an average of 15 for the non-e-book reader.
  • Prefer to buy your e-book rather than borrow it.
  • Regard family members, friends or co-workers as your best source of interesting title recommendations. 

Readers of E-Books Read More Frequently Than Others

Print still dominates today
In a survey of 2,986 Americans ages 16 and older between November and December 2011, researchers from the Pew Internet & American Life Project reported that 17 percent of participants had read an e-book in the past year.

Two months later, 21 percent of adults said they had read an e-book. Could this spike reflect the  popularity of e-reader devices as holiday gifts?

It seems so. Ownership of an e-book reader or a tablet each increased to 19 percent of adults during the holidays, compared to 10 percent for each device in mid-December.

Although print retains the top spot among readers of books, the Pew’s study illustrates a trend toward more readers accessing content digitally.

And when the definition of e-content is broadened beyond e-books, the shift is even more apparent. In December 2011, some 43 percent of American adults said they’d read an e-book or other long-form content such as magazines, journals, and news articles in digital format. The Pew’s study defines an e-book reader as a tablet, regular computer or cell phone.

Gadget Ownership for American Adults

Other findings

  • E-book device owners are more likely to be female than male.
  • E-book device owners are more likely to be under age 50.
  • More parents own tablet computers as compared to non-parents.
  • As you might expect, e-book reader and tablet ownership are strongly correlated with income and education.
  • E-book readers and tablet owners are a technologically connected group. Some 97 percent use the Internet at least occasionally.
  • Of the 43 percent of Americans who consume e-content, a sizable majority say they find it is available in the format they want. Yet 23 percent say they find the material they are seeking “only sometimes,” “hardly ever” or never available in the format they want.

If you’d like to drill down into all of the Pew’s findings, you can access the full report here.

Now it’s your turn. Do you see creative opportunities for business content providers to meet the increasing shift to reading digitally?

You might also enjoy New Study Shows PR in Transition from Old School to New School.

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About creativeconsiderations

Christine Sullivan is a communications strategist with expertise in communications planning, writing and content development, and executive communications. She can be reached at mycreativeconsiderations@gmail.com.
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2 Responses to Are You Part of the E-Reading Trend?

  1. lbstrang says:

    I think the trend towards digital reading does present opportunities for business content providers. However, the Pew survey may have limited value for identifying these prospective opportunities since it looked at usage/attitudes among all Americans. We may need additional research that focuses on e-reading trends and preferences within the business community.

    • Good point, Lynne. I think it makes sense to survey the business community or even your own customers to find out what their preferences are. Some businesses, particularly B2B, may find a knowledge gap that they can fill by sharing content from their internal experts. It could be a good way to showcase thought leadership.

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