A new report has found that ebook owners tend to be more avid readers and book buyers both in print and digital media.
Things might be starting to look up for booksellers, authors and publishers. A report released by the Pew Research Center shows that one fifth of adults have read an ebook in the last year, and that e-reader owners not only prefer to buy rather than borrow books, but they also read more books.
"Those who have taken the plunge into reading ebooks stand out in almost every way from other kinds of readers," the report's authors wrote. "Foremost, they are relatively avid readers of books in all formats: 88 per cent of those who read ebooks in the past 12 months also read printed books."
With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Pew surveyed nearly 3000 Americans ages 16 and older last November and December. The research centre found that ebook readers go through an average of 24 books a year, while those who don't own the digital devices read an average of 15 books per year.
"Still, those who read ebooks are not abandoning printed books," the authors write. "Overall, in the past year, 72 per cent of adults read a print book, compared to the 21 per cent who read an ebook, and 11 per cent who listened to an audio book."
According to the report, people use ebooks when they want speedy access in buying a book and easy portability while they are travelling. However, users still prefer print when sharing books with their friends or reading to children.
"Ebook readers and tablet computers are finding their place in the rhythms of readers' lives," one of the report's authors, Kathryn Zickuhr, said in a statement. "But printed books still serve as the physical currency when people want to share the stories they love."
Other major findings by Pew were that four times as many people now read ebooks than two years ago; ebook reading happens on several types of devices, including Kindles, Nooks, smartphones and tablets; and that Amazon's Kindle Fire grew in tablet market share from 5 per cent in mid-December to 14 per cent in mid-January.
"Every institution connected to the creation of knowledge and storytelling is experiencing a revolution in the way information is packaged and disseminated," another author of the report, Lee Rainie, said in a statement. "It's now clear that readers are embracing a new format for books and a significant number are reading more because books can be plucked out of the air."
(Credit: The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project)