December 11, 2012

People using ereaders read more books


The move to ereaders has caused a great deal of upheaval in the publishing industry, but now that things are settling slightly, it’s interesting to see how readers are behaving with these new devices.

Dianna Dilworth on Galley Cat writes that according to a “infographic”, the average eBook reader reads 24 books a year, as compared to the 15 books read by the average print reader. Of course the graphic doesn’t discuss reasons for this number, but it could be due to the ease of acquisition, or my secret speculation — that readers are using digital devices to read shorter, more pulpy books that they wouldn’t want fellow commuters to see on the train.

This growth in the number of ebook reads squares with the fact that ebooks accounted for 22% of all book spending in the second quarter of 2012, as per Jim Milliot on Publishers Weekly. That was up 14% in the same period in 2011.

“In the year-to-year comparison, the hardcover and trade paperback segments both lost two percentage points each to e-books, while mass market paperbacks’ share fell from 15% in the second quarter of 2011 to 12% in this year’s second period.”

If you like graphs, you can see PW’s here.

The type of device matters too, as Milliot writes,

“According to the BISG’s consumer reading survey, “power buyers” (those who purchase e-books weekly) show an increased preference for reading on tablets, with more than 38% indicating so, compared to 19% a year ago. The BISG study also suggests that tablets designed for reading books—like the Kindle Fire, Nook HD, or Kobo Arc—outperform other tablets. Nearly 60% of the BISG survey respondents that own Kindle Fires say they read e-books “very often,” while about 50% of those with iPads make that claim.”




Ariel Bogle is a former publicist at Melville House.