Pew Survey Finds Rising E-Reading, Continued Dominance of Print


A January 2014 survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project demonstrates that while e-reading and e-reader ownership is on the rise, print isn’t going anywhere either. About 70% of U.S. adults read a print book in the last year, and only 4% of readers are “e-book only.”

The typical U.S. adult read 5 books in the past year (the average number is 12, thanks to a small group of avid bookworms), and 50% of Americans now own a handheld device like a tablet or e-reader. More and more Americans are turning to tablets for e-reading, although the number of adults that own a dedicated reading device like a Kindle, Nook or Kobo jumped from 24% in September 2013 to 32% in January 2014.

At our “Knowledge Systems” book sprint in January, many of our collaborators wrote about the continued vitality of print books, as well as the great degree of cultural capital and nostalgia that has congealed around the printed, bound word. This Pew study finds that while Americans become increasingly comfortable with e-reading, their fundamental relationship with the worlds of words and literature continues to be an analog one.

Read the full results of the survey by Kathryn Zickuhr and Lee Rainie at the Pew Research Internet Project:


Image courtesy of Pam Lau, used under a Creative Commons license. Thanks Pam!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.