A new survey from Princeton Survey Research Associates International and made available through Pew Internet indicates that “the proportion of Americans who read e-books is growing,” while “more also own dedicated e-reading devices.” The survey, one of the first of the new year and based on a sample of just over 1000 adults surveyed in January 2nd-5th, 2014, indicates that “the percentage of adults who read an e-book in the past year has risen to 28%, up from 23% at the end of 2012.’
That said, the survey also concludes that: “print remains the foundation of Americans’ reading habits. Most people who read e-books also read print books, and just 4% of readers are ‘e-book only’.” Nonetheless, “e-book reading devices are spreading through the population. Some 42% of adults now own tablet computers, up from 34% in September. And the number of adults who own an e-book reading device like a Kindle or Nook reader jumped from 24% in September to 32% after the holidays. Overall, 50% of Americans now have a dedicated handheld device.” Computer and smartphone users also figure largely in the ebook reading landscape, though, with 32 percent of phone users employing them as reading devices, although only 29 percent of PC users now do so, compared to 42 percent as recently as 2011.
All in all, trends for the future of ebooks already look to have kicked off well in 2014. But this has to be seen in the context of a (welcome) uptick in reading as a whole. The survey reports a four percent rise in reading as a whole across all formats during 2013, with around 70 percent of Americans reading during the year.