Harris poll: E-book readers read more
Years ago, I remember saying that “…the more you love books, the more you love e-books.”
Initially, people who read e-books were treated by some “serious readers” as…inferior. It was somehow insulting, or even anti-literature, that we would read the same words that the other person was reading, but not in the same “container”.
I know I’ve mentioned this one before, but I thought my Significant Other had the best line. When somebody saw my SO reading a Kindle and sneeringly said, “I like the feel of a book in my hand,” my SO replied, “I like the feel of a hundred in mine.” ;)
While there certainly may be some tactile (and olfactory) things that we lose, the simple fact is that you can have more books available to you more often with e-books.
backs up the assertion that e-book readers read more.
My guess, by the way, isn’t that the e-book medium itself makes you read more, although that’s possible. I think it’s that the people who read a lot are attracted to EBRs (E-Book Readers).
After all, if you only read a book in a month, you don’t see the same benefit you would if you normally carried two or more books with you everywhere (which I did).
Here’s a short excerpt with one of the most interesting statistics:
“Interestingly, there appears to be an intersection at work between how Americans read and how much they read. Those who read either more or exclusively in the e-book format are more likely to read over 20 books in an average year (30%) than either those who read more/only in hard copy (18%) or those who read in both formats equally (21%). They also report a higher average readership per year than either hard copy hardliners or equal-opportunity readers (22.5 books vs. 16 and 15, respectively).”
There is a lot more to the poll, including gen-gen (generation and gender) breakdowns.
I don’t want to take too much away from it (I recommend you read it), but I do want to mention this.
Only 6% of the respondents said that they read e-books exclusively.
I would put myself in that category (although I am reading a p-book…paperbook…right now, that’s really a fluke, and I don’t consider it normal).
I’m guessing a significant number of you do, too…although I’m also guessing I have a lot of “mixed media” readers (some p-books, some e-books).
Why do I read just e-books (despite having something like 10,000 p-books on shelves in our house)?
No question, the ability to increase the font size is part of it. My vision isn’t what it used to be, and I can wear glasses (I buy cheap ones, and scatter them around the house), but it’s nice not to have to do that.
Another big, big issue for me is text-to-speech. I use it typically for hours a day in the car…I much prefer that to the radio.
Third, there’s the portability. I tend to bounce from book to book, rather than reading one straight through. On Goodreads, I show myself as currently reading more than ten books. Part of that is because I never abandon a book…so if I’ve started it, and haven’t finished it, I consider myself to be currently reading it.
However, I am actively reading (every day or two)…certainly three books.
A fourth reason: free public domain books!
I could keep going. :)
The key thing: those who read e-books read more (on average)…and they report that the amount that they read is increasing.
Again, it’s a bit hard to separate that out without more information. Serious readers might always tend to report themselves as reading more…I just don’t know that.
I will say, though, that book lovers love books…and e-books give us the opportunity to have more books and more access to them.
What do you think? Are you reading more or less than you used to read, or is about the same? What makes you choose to read an e-book over a p-book (and vice versa)? Will e-books reverse the trend of declining reading rates eventually? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.