Sunday, November 18, 2012

Is the e-Reading Explosion as Large as We Thought?

Those who’ve been following my blog know I’ve covered a fair amount of stats that reflect the huge rise in  e-reader and e-book sales. I still think the trend is growing, however an interesting survey in suggests that a third of e-reader owners only used them once!

The survey came from and polled only 2,000 people, so who knows how accurately their survey reflects what’s happening in the digital world? Having said that, I don’t think the survey is horribly off the mark. The survey also showed that 17% used their readers once a week while 29% used theirs every day.

Of those asked why they’d only used their e-readers once, 57% said they were too busy too read, 25% reported that they preferred physical books, and 22% had received the e-reader as a gift and didn’t think they were necessary. I have to wonder if these gadgets are catching on as much as Amazon and others would have us believe? Sure, Amazon sells a lot of Kindles, but is every buyer using them regularly? Are a third of consumers using the device only once or twice, then tossing it in a drawer?

My Sony was given to me as a gift. It took me three months to take it out of the box. I downloaded a few things, but I haven’t used it in months, as I too prefer physical books and have a large stack still waiting to be read. This would likely change if I downsized my home, or traveled more often.

I’m convinced more than ever that those who try e-readers and download books are reading only a fraction of them, particularly if they are free. The bottom line is that print still has its place and people are still busy, and trying to find avid readers will always be a challenge. You can find the piece at


Julie H. Ferguson said...

On the plane home yesterday, every second passenger had a ereader of some kind. I sat next to two and asked them if they read print. "Yes!" they both said. "We use our readers when we are travelling." I do too.
I use the library when at home base and read print books. I don't buy print books, though. We have too many for the shelves we have; I'm stingy (!); and I only buy books I need for research and can't locate through Inter-library loans.
PS: I do borrow ebooks too.

Absolutely Literate said...

I downloaded ereader software to our tablet so I could borrow an ebook from the library (the print version was unavailable). It took me a while to get it all working and then I forgot to read it - apparently I need the physical book to remind me!
However, I was talking to a friend and she loves her ereader. She has arthritis and vision issues so it is lighter weight and she can adjust the font size if needed.

Debra Purdy Kong said...

Thanks for your comments, Julie and Absolutely Literate. Much appreciated. E-readers seem to be most popular when people are traveling, but reading at home is still quite a different story!