Do you remember when you read your last book that wasn’t displayed on a small screen? When you literally turned the page, not swiped it? Ebook readers have been in our lives for a while now, but not that long; yet we cannot seem to remember clearly how the reading experience was before.
They have become an important part of our lives and as technology evolves by the hour, we cannot imagine how we would go through the day without our friend, the tablet.
To better argue my point, I will present some statistics, concerning the ebook reader popularity in the US. They are the results of The Harris Poll, of 2,506 adults that participated to an online survey between February 6 and 13, 2012. The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive and the results published by Paul Biba on www.teleread.com.
In the summer of 2011, after Apple released its second iPad and the ereader companies were competing for the “best device” title, 15% of the Americans acknowledged they used an electronic reader device by Amazon, Apple or Barnes & Noble and 85% did not. In February 2012, seven months into the future, that number almost doubled. Now 28%, almost one in three adult Americans do their reading on electronic paper, while 72% do not.
This movement seems to be indifferent to age groups, as 30% of the people between 18 and 47 currently use an eReader as do 24% of those aged 48-66. The percentage rises again to 28% among Matures, those over 67, who seem to prefer the electronic reading experience.
When talking about future plans, 13% claim they are likely to own an eBook reader in the next six months, 77% say they’re unlikely to do so and 10% are not sure. At the census back in July 2011, 15% of the Americans were likely to buy a device in the next six months.
Paul Biba states: “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. So, 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.”
What does the future hold for the paper books? Some say they will become obsolete in the coming years. That is probably not true, as many people still enjoy reading a classic book and feeling the paper between their fingers. However, it’s getting easier to imagine a world with less printed books and it doesn’t matter if it’s due to Apple, Amazon or B&N, who oriented us upon this new path, but they will definitely keep on releasing top-notch devices that will make the ereading experience easier, fun and relaxing. Less printed books means more trees, so win-win, right?