The rise of e-books in American culture is part of a larger story about a shift from printed to digital material. Through an increasingly broader definition of e-content and device deliveries, some 43% of Americans age 16 and older indicate they have either read an e-book in the past year or have read other, long-form content such as magazines, journals, and news articles in digital format on an e-book reader, tablet computer, regular computer, or cell phone.
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According to a newly released, April, 2012, report by the Pew Research Center’s ongoing Internet and American Life Project, 21% of American adults have enjoyed reading a book in digital format. Some other findings of the study were:
- 21 per cent of U.S. adults surveyed in February had read at least one e-book in the past year, while 72 per cent said they had read at least one printed book over the same period.
- Most e-book readers said they read e-books either on a computer (42 per cent) or an e-book reader (41 per cent), but 29 per cent read e-books on a cellphone and 23 per cent did so on a tablet computer.
- 88 per cent of e-book readers had also read at least one printed book in the past year.
- Owners of e-book readers were more likely (61 per cent) than other readers (48 per cent) to have purchased the most recent book they read, rather than borrowing from a friend, family member or the library.
- When asked which books were best for reading to children, 81 per cent of respondents preferred print books.
- When asked which books were best for travelling or commuting, 73 per cent chose e-books.
Here is an infographic which gives an visual view of the report.