Thanks to the help of bigger smartphones and plenty of tablets to choose from, more Americans are flipping digital pages instead of dead trees.
This shockingly obvious report comes from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which reported that 23 percent of people ages 16 and up prefer reading digitally. That number is up from 16 percent a year ago.
“The rise coincided with a larger percentage jump in e-reading device ownership. Those owning a tablet computer such as an iPad or Galaxy Tab, or an e-reader such as a Kindle or Nook, rose to 33 percent late this year compared to 18 percent in late 2011. As of November, a quarter of Americans 16 and older owned a tablet, up from 10 percent in late 2011, while 19 percent owned an e-reader, up from 10 percent in the previous survey.”
Just like newspapers are cutting print for a more reliable, digital first approach, printed books are also experiencing a decline, according to the report. Print declined 67 percent from 72 percent.
Some other quick facts from the report:
• Households with income of $75,000, between the ages of 30 and 49, are more likely to read e-books.
• 30 percent of all book readers admitted to reading an e-book in the past year.
• 89 percent read a printed book
• 17 percent said they listened to an audio book.
• More libraries (5 percent; up from 3 percent last year) are letting users borrow e-books.
While digital is great for the consumer — and for the environment — some book publishers have to figure out a better approach to what haunted the music industry for more than a decade: piracy.
Traditional book publishers who have gone digital said despite the threat of piracy, they’re doing quite well. According to a recent NPR report, some publishers continue to experiment with pricing and the logistics of delivering those e-books.
“The exciting thing about digital books is that we actually get to test and price differently,” Sourcebooks President Dominique Raccah told NPR. “We can even price on a weekly basis.” Once publishers have this tool, the ability to adjust prices in an instant, they can do whatever they want with that tool — like use it to get publicity.
Have you read an e-book this year? What’s your favorite platform? Kindle? iBooks? Share with us below.