The Rise Of E-Reading

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The Pew Research Center:

The average reader of e-books says she has read 24 books (the mean number) in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer.

Pew also found that people prefer e-books over printed books when quick access and portability is desired, while printed books are preferred when sharing with others or reading to children.

That rings true with me. I absolutely love reading on my Kindle or iPad when traveling. The devices are small and can hold thousands of e-books. This saves me from having to tote around a load of heavy printed books. However, if there is a book that I really want to enjoy, keep, and share, I lean toward traditional books. For instance, I bought the hardback version of Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs.

I feel like I am in a transitional generation - born and raised in the printed book era, while entering adulthood in the e-book era. My bet is that as the current young generations age, the numbers will eventually reverse and e-books will dominate. The need for tangible entertainment is largely decreasing with this tech-savvy youth.

Some other interesting findings: 21% of U.S. adults have read an e-book in the past year, 30% say that e-content has led to an increase in reading activity, and printed books still dominate.