To some it may seem like we’ve always had them, yet the world of eReaders is still fairly new. But, as Apple releases its 3rd iPad, it seems like they are here to stay. This past summer, 15% of Americans said they use an electronic reader device such as a Kindle, iPad or Nook to read books while 85% did not. Fast forward seven months, and that number has almost doubled – now almost three in ten U.S. adults (28%) are using one of these devices to read books while 72% are not.
Unlike some new technology, there is not a great divide by age when it comes to eReader use. Among Echo Boomers (ages 18-35) and Gen Xers (aged 36-47) 30% currently use an eReader and that number just drops slightly to 28% among Matures (ages 67 and older) and 24% of Baby Boomers (ages 48-66).
POPULARITY OF E-READERS GOOD FOR PUBLISHERS
The rise of eReaders may actually be a positive for publishing companies who are embracing electronic books. Among those who are currently using an eReader, three in ten (29%) say they typically read more than 20 books in an average year, while one in five (21%) say they read between 11 and 20 books and one-quarter (24%) read between 6 and 10 books. All told, almost three-quarters of eReader users are reading 6 or more books in an average year.
Among those who do not use an eReader, the numbers are reversed as one in five (18%) typically reads no books in an average year, one in five (19%) typically reads between 1 and 2 books and one in five (21%) typically reads between 3 and 5 books. So, three in five non eReader users are reading 5 or fewer books on average in a year.
Purchase behavior is similar. Over one-third of those who do not use an eReader (36%) say they do not purchase any books in a typical year while one in five eReader users purchase over 20 (20%) and between 11 and 20 books (21%) in a typical year.
Looking ahead, 13% of Americans say they are likely to purchase an eReader in the next six months, while 77% are unlikely to do so and 10% are not at all sure. In July, 15% of Americans said they were going to purchase an eReader in the next six months.[Source: “The Harris Poll.” Harris Interactive. 8 Mar. 2012. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.]