Survey Proves eBooks Promote Reading

The results of a survey released on April 4, 2012, found that e-books are contributing to a rise in the amount of reading done by adults in the United States. The majority of the people who enjoy the e-books also read traditional books. The survey was conducted by The Pew Internet and American Life Project. According to their website they are an initiative of the Pew Research Center in Washington DC, a non-profit fact tank which explores the impact of the Internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life.

More than 1 in 5 Americans admit to reading an e-book in the last twelve months. E-readers include devices such as the Kindle and the Nook which allow reading material to be downloaded from the internet to the device. E-content can also be accessed on computers and tablets. Many books are free of charge and additionally magazines and newspapers can also be downloaded. Among those aged 16 and above, when newspapers and magazines are included, the statistics go up to 2 in 5. It is estimated that more than 21 percent of Americans own an e-reader.

Before Christmas 2011, in the survey group, 17 percent of adults owned an e-reader which means that the 4 percent increase is most likely due to the gift giving season, which includes both Christmas and Hanukah. The survey found that those who enjoy using an e-reader are more likely to buy their books than to borrow them. They enjoy reading for pleasure as well as for school and research.

For this report, most of the date was taken from a survey of slightly less than 3,000 American aged 16 and older. The main survey was conducted between November 16 and December 21, 2011. Those surveyed were asked about their reading habits as well as their preferences. There were two additional survey conducted in January 2012 to determine that amount of change that had occurred due to the holiday gift-giving season.

The final survey was conducted between January 20 and February 19, 2012 to determine any changed that might have occurred. The majority of the findings however, are relative to the first survey.

The final results show that currently about 29 percent of Americans own some sort of device which allows them to read e-material. Included in this number are the iPad and similar devices as well as the Nook and the Kindle.  Of this 29 percent, most admitted to reading on average two books a month. Among people who didn’t use the e-readers, the number averaged 1.25 books per month. Those who read the most in the survey were white women over the age of 65.

In all, 30 percent of those who read e-content say that they now read more. 41 percent of those who own tablets say they read more and 35 percent of those who own e-readers admit to reading more. The conclusion drawn from this survey is that eBooks promote reading. They have increased the amount of reading the average adult American does. The figures are even higher, if a device that makes it more convenient to read no matter where you are, is involved.

A grant was provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund this survey.

Photo credit: kindle_1425003880.png Pixabay

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  1. melissae

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