DBW/Verso 2010 book buying behavior study:

3,819 respondents weighted to 18 ages and above; libraries are a significant source 44.7% prefer libraries, women prefer libraries over men. Men buy 5 books a year, women 6, average books borrowed each year is 5; 2009 3% owned ereader in 2010 8% owned ereader; 40% said are unlikely to buy an ereader; ability to pass along ebooks is important to 30% of ereader owners; kindle and sony most popular than men, however Nook is number 2 in ownership; average person bought 2 ebooks a year and 6% purchased 13% or more ebooks per year; 23% prefer dedicated ereader, 18% laptop desktop computer, 8% mobile device and tablet 8%; seems be a hybrid market as 30% of ereaders owners buy 13 or more print books a year and 23% of ereaders purchase 13 or more ebooks per year; 80% of ereader owners said would purchase ebooks from local indie if they had competitive pricing

BISG study on consumer attitude towards ebook reading:

Fourth fielding of their study; 20% of reader are “power” ebook buyers; emerging ebook power buyer is age 30 to 44, predominantly female, fully employed and retired people are much less of a buyer; large growth curve at front end, power buyers come into market from about a year ago; maturing ebook market that is being more reflective of what the typical print book market is; core ebook buyer looks like core print book buyer; units purchased are up but not compensating in revenue doe to lower prices of ebooks; riste in ebook units is not offsetting the cannibalism of print; people who buy ebooks tend to buy fewer hardcovers and paperbacks; no question that e is cannibalizing print; dedicated readers are predominant followed by desktop or laptop computers followed by tablets and then smartphones; tablets are growing in non-fiction area but not in fiction; Nook and iPad are battling for market share; B&N is strengthening its no 2 position in downloads of ebooks; no significant growth tin the iBook store whose growth has been flat since launch; Nook owners seem to be the “most satisfied” with their device as opposed to Kindle and other others; “free” is critical in the purchasing role – free chapter, free read a part online, online book reviews play an important part; when first get a device the owner downloads vs. purchases is 50/50; for ebook buyer impulse buying is important and percentages are pretty similar to those who buy at brick and mortar

Consumer trends in ebook readership using multi-function devices:

surveyed 300 people; top 3 reasons to read on device: convenience for traveling, ease of purchasing ebooks, backlit screen; most common occasions for reading are traveling, waiting for appointment, to relax; 66% read more since have ebooks on devices, 89% are more likely to read more ebooks in future and 46% are inspired to read more print books after reading ebooks; 65% consume both free and purchased ebooks; for those who read both 57% read purchased and 43% read free; only 18% of readers reading only purchased ebooks; 73% buy ebooks from Amazon; seem to be two profiles of people who read on multi-function devices – the avid reader and the renewed reader who is re-introduced to books. Avid reader: female, reading is her favorite hobby, uses multifunction device primarily to read books, preferred device is iPad, backlight is important as is book pricing. Renewed reader: male, likes Android devices, is driven by the device and reading is an entertainment outlet rather than a hobby.


Will see a comfortable rate of growth to what we’ve seen so far: yes, growth pattern will be maintained; will double readers of ebooks; data shows that 8% were new readers; publishers should look at new markets for growth, such as novellas or other things that don’t make a good print book

Will readers continue to consume both print and ebooks: suspect that core readers gravitate more to ebooks and start dropping print

Do free ebooks stimulate sales: not enough research, but some numbers indicate that they are a gateway product for purchases. For renewed readers the gateway effect seems to be important. Gateway gets blocked when experience is seamless, for example Adobe DRM, which is one reason for the success of the Kindle which is much simpler to use.


  1. Of all the stats above, these two intrigue me:

    “40% said are unlikely to buy an ereader; ability to pass along ebooks is important to 30% of ereader owners.”

    The ereader stat may not tell the whole story, as some of those 40% who may not buy a dedicated device, may still buy a tablet or some other device that will allow them to read ebooks, or may already have a device that can be used for ebook reading but they haven’t done so.

    The other stat hits me because I’ve never understood why people couldn’t simply tell their friends about a book and recommend it, as opposed to actually lending it to them. Recommendations by friends work in almost every other instance without actually exchanging the physical product: Go see that movie; go check out that restaurant; you gotta watch this sitcom; you need to try out these shoes. So why is it such a big deal to people to be able to lend books?

    I honestly expect the book lending desire to lessen, especially as ebooks become easier to find online, on-the-spot. But it seems to be a tenacious quality, so we’ll see how long it lingers.

  2. When a new technology emerges, or a completely new form of device, it has become clear that people do not have a clue what they will do in a future that includes this new technology/device.
    Look at surveys taken a week after he launch of the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad and others. The reason is users have no concept of how they will use the device /technology, or what they can do for them that they are not yet aware of.

    Drawing meaning from such surveys is a mugs game.

    As far as lending is concerned, lending is clearly and intrinsically tied up with a combination of cost and convenience. Both feed into the desire to lend or borrow. Solving one without the other will not suppress the lending urge.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail newteleread@gmail.com.