Rise of e-books boosts readership, study finds
An April 2012 study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project estimates that the number of e-book readers in the United States increased from 17 percent of adults in December 2011 to 21 percent in February 2012. The growth has been significantly bolstered by the continued popularity of tablet computers and e-readers.
Tablet and e-reader users tend to be more avid readers than others. According to the study, e-book readers made their way through an average of 24 books in the past 12 months. In contrast, non-e-book readers averaged about 15 books.
Thirty percent of those who read long-form digital content, including books, magazines and newspapers, say they spend more time reading now than they had in the past. Tablet users are especially enthusiastic about e-content, with some 41 percent saying they are now reading more.
Still, many readers -- even e-book enthusiasts -- are split between digital and printed material. Generally, readers prefer e-books when they want to get through a book quickly or while traveling. When sharing a book with a friend or reading to children, they prefer print.
Highlighting the growth of digital media, a December 2011 study from Juniper Research predicts e-book sales to reach $9.8 billion by 2016, up from $3.2 billion in 2011.