A New Study Reveals Trends In Digital Reading

A study recently released by the Pew Research Center shows that the number of Americans using e-readers is growing.

Okay, while this may not be breaking news, the study does have some interesting facts about digital readers. Pew reports that in 2012, 23% of Americans aged 16 and older have read an e-book. This number has increased from the previous year when only 16% of those surveyed received their material digitally.

Along with the increase of e-book readers, the number of devices purchased has also grown. In late 2011, only 18% of those surveyed owned a reading device such as a Kindle, Nook or iPad. In 2012 this percentage increased to 33%.

The study also breaks down the average digital reader. While men previously made up more of the e-reading public, in the past 12 months, women have officially become the biggest consumers of e-books. As for educational backgrounds, readers with a college or graduate degree are the most likely to download an e-book. Furthermore, these digital readers generally live in a household earning more than $75,000 a year. And the age group that makes up the majority of e-book readers — that would be people between 30 and 49.

The Pew study not only investigated trends in e-reading, but it also collected research on the number of books, both print and digital, that the people surveyed had read during the previous 12 months. The following is the breakdown of the number of books read by participants that identified themselves as readers:

  • 7% read one book
  • 14% read 2-3 books
  • 12% read 4-5 books
  • 15% read 6-10 books
  • 13% read 11-20 books
  • 14% read 21 or more books

We can confidently say that all of the editors at RT are in the "21 or more books" category and we are certainly glad to see others enjoying books as much as we do!

If you would like to read more about consumers e-reading habits, check out the Pew study here. And for more Publishing Industry News, including more digital book statistics, click here.