Print Book Readership Declines As E-Books Gain In Popularity
December 2012 -- The number of Americans who read e-books growing, finds the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
- In the past year, the number of Americans (ages 16+) who read e-books increased from 16% to 23%. At the same time, those who read printed books fell from 72% to 67%.
- Overall, the number of book readers (any format: print, e-books, audio) in late 2012 was 75% of the population ages 16 and older, a small decline from 78% in late 2011.
- The number of owners of either a tablet computer (e.g., iPad, Kindle Fire) or e-book reading device (e.g., Kindle, Nook) grew from 18% in late 2011 to 33% in late 2012.
- Breaking down the profile of all book readers (print, e-books audio), Pew finds:
- Women are more likely than men to be book readers (81% vs. 70%).
- Readership slowly declines with age: 90% of 16-17-year-olds and 80% of 18-29-year-olds have read a book in the past year, compared to 67% of those who are age 65+.
- Income plays a role in readership. For example, 66% of respondents with an annual household income of less than $30,000 say they have read a book in 2012. That number rises to 84% of respondents from households with more than $75,000 in annual income.
- Similarly, education also is a factor: 90% of Americans with a college degree have read a book in the past year, compared to 66% with a high school diploma. The income and education trends applied to the subset of e-book readers, also.
About: The Library Services Survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 2,252 people ages 16 and older living in the United States. Interviews were conducted via landline (n=1,127) and cell phone (n=1,125, including 543 without a landline phone). The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The interviews were administered in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from October 15 to November 10, 2012.
Sources: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, E-book Reading Jumps; Print Book Reading Declines, December 27, 2012 and Marketing Charts, Print Book Readership Continues to Decline; E-Books Increase in Popularity, December 28, 2012.