One-fifth of American adults (21%) report that they have read an e-book in the past year, and this number increased following a gift-giving season that saw a spike in the ownership of both tablet computers and e-book reading devices such as the original Kindles and Nooks. In mid-December 2011, 17% of American adults had reported they read an e-book in the previous year; by February, 2012, the share increased to 21%.
Looking at e-content consumption more broadly, some 43% of Americans age 16 and older read long-form digital text such as e-books and magazines and many say they are reading more because books and other long-form material are in a digital format.
In addition, those who read e-books read more books than those who don’t have the devices: The average reader of e-books says she has read 24 books (the mean number) in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer. For device owners, those who own e-book readers also stand out. They say they have read an average of 24 books in the previous year (vs. 16 books by those who do not own that device). They report having read a median of 12 books (vs. 7 books by those who do not own the device.