U.S. e-book reading up, print readership declines

Pew survey finds that 23% of Americans read an e-book in the last 12 months

More Americans read e-books in the last year, with 23% of those ages 16 and over going digital, compared to 16% in the previous survey for the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which released its latest results on e-book readership Thursday.

The rise coincided with a larger percentage jump in e-reading device ownership. Those owning a tablet computer such as an iPad or Galaxy Tab, or an e-reader such as a Kindle or Nook, rose to 33% late this year compared to 18% in late 2011. As of November, a quarter of Americans 16 and older owned a tablet, up from 10 percent in late 2011, while 19 % owned an e-reader, up from 10% in the previous survey.

The survey also found that those who read books in print declined to 67% from 72%. The overall number of book readers, however, remained at 75%, down from 78% in late 2011, a drop that study authors Lee Rainie and Maeve Duggan termed "statistically insignificant." Rainie is director of the Pew Internet Project and Duggan is a research assistant.

Those with college or graduate degrees, those in households with income of more than $75,000, and those between the ages of 30 and 49, are most likely to read e-books.

Thirty-percent of all book readers said they read an e-book in the last year, while 89% read a printed book and 17% listened to an audio book, the survey found.

A larger share of library users also borrowed e-books, 5%t compared to 3% last year. Awareness that libraries lend e-books also rose, with 31% who were surveyed saying they knew that libraries did so, up from 24% late last year.

The Pew Research Center, in Washington, D.C., surveyed 2,252 Americans 16 and older between Oct. 15 and Nov. 10 this year.

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