E-book readership on the rise, as tablet ownership climbs

By Daniel Levine,

More Americans are reading e-books as tablet ownership skyrocketed over the past year, a new survey says.

The Pew Research Center found that 23 percent of all Americans 16 and older are reading e-books, a jump from just 16 percent in 2011. Meanwhile, the number of those reading hard copies of books dripped from 72 percent to 67 percent.

This should come as no surprise, as more people buy tablet computers like iPad and the Amazon Kindle Fire. Just 10 percent of Americans over 16 had tablets in late 2011, but that number jumped to 25 percent by November 2012. Overall, 33 percent of Americans have electronic reading devices like the Nook and Kindle, up from 18 percent in 2011.

The number of e-book readers doesn’t affect just the bookstores, though. Libraries are affected and the number of people borrowing e-books has risen slightly from 3 percent to 5 percent. More people also know that libraries lend e-books.

Pew also found that e-book readers are more likely to be in the 30 to 49 age group, be earning over $75,000 a year or have a college degree.

Pew also looked at the number of books people read, noting that 75 percent said that they read at least one book, no matter what the format. Half of those that took the survey read six or more books, while another half read less than six.

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