Who Says Americans Don’t Read? They Still Do & Increasingly on E-Readers

Newspaper circulation may be dropping precipitously in America and magazines may be folding at an alarming rate but Americans haven’t stopped reading.

They still read a lot.

And increasingly on e-readers.

We recently took the subway in New York City and found many riders glued to their white Kindles or black iPads.

E-Readers Double

A new study by Pew Research found that the percentage of U.S. adults with an e-book reader doubled from 6% to 12% in just six months (between November 2010 and May 2011). Yours truly is included in that statistic.

For the benefit of schmucks, e-readers are portable devices like the Kindle, Nook or Kobo that let readers download and read books and periodicals. You can find them in large stores like BestBuy, Staples or Target in the U.S. and cost from $119 to $249 depending on brand and features.

Tablets like the Apple iPad also have e-readers built into them but the Pew Research study for some inexplicable reason considers tablets a separate category. But tablets are more expensive and usually the good ones like the iPad 2 start at $500.

Apparently, this is the first time since the Pew Internet Project began measuring e-reader use in April 2009 that ownership of this device has reached double digits among U.S. adults.
E-Readers Growing in Popularity

But before you can start singing hosannas for e-readers, it might be instructive to take a look at the below chart:

E-Readers Growing but Still a Small Fraction of Other Consumer Devices

E-readers have ways to go before they can catch up with cell phones or even desktop and laptop computers.

But if you include tablets also in the e-readers category, the percentage of American adults owning an E-reader rises to 20%. That’s a pretty impressive number.

Now, don’t ask us how many are actually reading on those tablets since they also let you do a host of other things like playing games and watching movies besides reading.

By the way, Hispanic adults, adults younger than age 65, college graduates and those living in households with incomes of at least $75,000 are most likely to own e-book readers. Parents are also more likely than non-parents to own e-readers, according to the Pew study.

Related Content:
iPad 2 Review – SI Buys the Only Tablet Worth Buying
Barnes & Noble Ups the Ante in e-Book Reader War, Puts Out Color Nook
Kindle Review – At $189, You’d be a Chutiya Not to Buy this eBook Reader

2 Responses to "Who Says Americans Don’t Read? They Still Do & Increasingly on E-Readers"

  1. rama dasa   July 1, 2011 at 11:14 am

    here’s an incredible india for you:half of indians cant understand their own official language! also an example of india’s pluralism despite propaganda to the contrary that india is intolerant of other views


    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: here’s an incredible india for you:half of indians cant understand their own official language!

    Some readers say that about yours truly too! 🙁

    BTW, India has two official languages: Hindi & English. The rest are regional languages

    • rama dasa   July 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm

      is SI doing anything special for the 4th?im just going to sit back and watch the “amazing american” clowns blow off their body parts from fireworks,some guy a bout 15 min from where i live got busted for having 5000 pounds worth of illegal fireworks

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      July 4th?

      Nothing special planned, sweetie. The locals have the de rigeur procession that we’ve been planning on seeing for the last several years but never did. Maybe, this year is the year.

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