Sunday, June 9, 2024

Reading popular, digital reading device ownership up

Posted by Elena del Valle on January 14, 2013

23 percent said they read ebooks

Photos: HispanicMPR

Selling a book? Thinking of becoming an author? You may be in luck. It seems many Americans are reading books. Whether it’s printed books, purchased or borrowed e-books (from the library) reading is popular. At the end of last year, 75 percent of Americans 16 and older said they read books, according to a Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project phone survey of 2,252 people 16 years and older, and a related article by Lee Rainie and Maeve Duggan. Those numbers represent a 3 percent decline compared to 2011 when 78 percent of survey takers said they read books.

A closer look reveals an increase in e-book readers with 23 percent of survey takers 16 and older saying they read e-books, up from 16 percent the previous year; and 13 percent of them said they had listened to an audio book. It’s no wonder since the percent of survey takers who own a book reading device (tablet, computer or e-book reader) went from 18 percent in 2011 to 33 percent in 2012.

14 percent said they read 21 or more books

The increase in e-book readers between 2011 and 2012 was 11 percent among non Hispanic blacks, 10 percent among non Hispanic whites and 5 percent among Hispanics. Print book reading dropped from 72 percent to 67 percent over the same time period, according to the same Pew data.

In the past year, 7 percent of survey takers said they had read one book; 12 percent said they had read four to five books; 13 percent said they had read eleven to twenty books; and 14 percent indicated they had read 21 or more books. The mean number of books read by women was 17 compared to 13 by men. The most likely e-book readers? People between 30 and 49 with college or graduate degrees and those who live in households with an income of more than $75,000.