Are Americans Reading More Because of Their E-Readers?
There’s no doubt that e-readers have made reading books more convenient. After all, you can pack a library of books in your bag where they will be ready for your reading pleasure, whatever literary mood you’re in.
Even with the added convenience of collapsing few dozen or more rows of bookcases into a device that is less than an inch thick, are we reading more books than we were, pre- e-book?
An Interesting Infographic (click here to see the image full-size)
A recent Pew study found that we are, and Infographic Labs created an eye-catching infographic displaying e-reading trends. Pew’s study found that those who read paper books average 15 books per year, but e-book readers consumed about 24.
The study also revealed that 21 percent of Americans have read an e-book in the past year. The numbers of female e-book readers vs. male e-book readers are about equal, and most people enjoying e-books fall within the age range of 18-49.
And, what device is Americans’ e-reader of choice? Amazon’s Kindle Fire is the bestselling e-reader, trailed by Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Sony’s eBook reader.
But if you’re talking tablets, Apple’s iPad still dominates, with 68 percent of the market share compared to Kindle Fire’s four percent.
Other interesting findings are the reasons people gave for choosing not to buy an e-reader at all. The number one cited answer was simply not wanting or needing one, followed by not being able to afford one. Coming in at third place was the desire not to accumulate any more tech devices, and number four was the preference for printed books.
But Are We Reading More?
Pew’s study is compelling, but I’m still on the fence about whether we’re reading more books as a result of e-readers. Perhaps those people Pew found to be reading about 24 e-books a year were avid readers back when paper was unrivaled.
But then again, maybe e-readers have made reading “cooler,” since shiny new gadgets and all-things-tech are more chic than geek these days. A personal tech device of any kind is a favorite accessory for some, so maybe e-readers have raised the level of cool for reading. Cool things tend to be done more frequently.
Now, I haven’t seen any guys whip out a Kindle to try to impress the ladies, but reading on an e-device does put off a certain – I don’t know – literary intellectual meets new media mogul charm.
I have to go back to the convenience factor when considering the e-reader’s effect on reading habits. Like many on-the-go professionals, I keep my Kindle in my purse so I can enjoy reading a little bit throughout the day. I use it on the train ride into the city, while waiting for a lunch date to arrive at a restaurant, and even standing in line during routine errands – it helps to pass the time.
So, for me, my e-reader helps me read more books simply because it can serve up whichever book I want, whenever I feel like reading. Now those in-between moments in daily life have become reading moments, and I have my Kindle to thank for it.
What do you think? Share your thoughts on e-readers and reading habits in the comments section below.