Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Americans Read More E-Books — But Maybe Not on E-Readers

More U.S. consumers are e-reading — just not necessarily on e-readers.


That’s according to a new report from the Pew Research Center, which surveyed over 2,000 Americans age 16 and up during a month-long period just before the holidays.

The number of consumers who read e-books is up seven percent to nearly a quarter of those surveyed, compared with data from the same time period a year ago. This coincided with a decline in those who say they still read dead-tree books, from 72 percent to 67 percent over a 12-month period.

The Pew report focuses on how this impacts libraries and e-book lending. But what’s more interesting is the data surrounding the types of devices consumers are e-reading on.

A quarter of those surveyed own tablets, like the iPad or Kindle Fire, compared with 10 percent of consumers who said the same a year ago. Meanwhile, just 19 percent said they owned a Kindle or Nook, compared with 10 percent last year.

So, tablet ownership shows a slightly greater increase than e-reader ownership — more evidence that e-readers are slowly losing momentum as tablets gain share. As reported recently by the New York Times Bits blog, IHS iSuppli estimates shipments of e-book readers will suffer a 36 percent drop this year, falling to 14.9 million units.

And a report from eMarketer suggests “2011 might prove to have been the high-water mark for ereaders. IHS iSuppli predicted continued declines, with worldwide shipments falling to just 7.1 million units by 2016.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik