Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pew Internet News: The rise of e-reading; Local news enthusiasts; How you can be a part of our research

The rise of e-reading

The rise of e-readingOne-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%.

The rise of e-books in American culture is part of a larger story about a shift from printed to digital material. 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. Read more ...

You may have already noticed that this report lives on a new section of our site. As part of our multi-year study of the changing role of public libraries in the digital age, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we felt it was important to give this work a room of its own. For a great introduction to this new Web space, read our recent blog post — and let us know what you think!

How you can participate: Sign up for our online surveys

Are you a library user? Or a librarian? Do you own an e-book reader, or a tablet computer? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, we want to hear from you! Sign up to be notified of future online surveys to help us learn how library patrons’ needs and expectations are changing in the era of e-books, widespread mobile connectivity, and the existence of vast digital collections.

Report: 72% of Americans follow local news closely

Nearly three quarters of American adults (72%) say they follow local news closely “most of the time, whether or not something important is happening.”  On the whole, these local news enthusiasts are more wedded to their newspapers than others, relying on them for much of their local news and a full third (32%) feeling it would have a major impact on their ability to get the information they want if their local paper vanished.  Yet, younger local news followers differ from their older counterparts in some important ways, including less reliance on local papers, potentially signaling changes to come in the local news environment.

Pew Internet research in the news

E-Book Borrowing, Preceded by E-Book Waiting
New York Times, April 11

E-book revolution: We're reading more than ever
Christian Science Monitor, April 5

Study: 21% of adults recently read e-book
Associated Press, April 4

Why people like to read

Why people like to read


Asked to tell us what they like most about book reading (in our recent report), those who had read a book in the past 12 months gave a host of reasons that ranged from the highly practical to the sublime. Scroll through part 2 of our report for specific answers (and a larger image)!

Upcoming report: Digital differences

Tomorrow, look out for a report that focuses on how increased internet adoption and the rise of mobile connectivity have reduced many gaps in technology access over the past decade, but for some groups digital disparities still remain.

Upcoming presentations:

Networked libraries serving networked patrons » Director Lee Rainie will give the “Networked libraries” speech at the Biblionext conference in Rome, Italy at the "Digital Omnivores: Libraries and New Learning Communities" event. His slides will be available on April 19 — be sure to check back!

Citizen 2.0 » Director Lee Rainie will give another talk while he is in Italy, titled “Citizen 2.0,” at a Webinar called "Forum PA." Slides for this presentation will be available on April 20.

See all presentations »

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About us:

The Pew Internet & American Life Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit "fact tank"that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The Pew Internet & American Life Project explores the impact of the internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life. Support for the project is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.