The Pew Survey on readers and electronic device reading is out and has some really great information in it.
Instead of me going over it here, go read The Shatzkin Files and his view of the data as well as the report itself. He seemed surprised by a few things, such as more people still read fiction on computers than devices, and that people with devices still read more print books than they do electronic books. (I am not surprised at all on those, but was surprised by a few other data points being as low as they were.)
For example, I was starting to believe people that my numbers on e-book readers were low, then this came out. According to the survey and Shatzkin’s reading of it, which matches mine. As of the December survey, 72% of American adults had read a printed book in the past year, 17% had read an ebook, and 11% had listened to an audio. Now that is up to 21% have read an e-book, either on a device or a computer or a phone.
That surprised me because I had started to buy into the theory that more were reading e-books last year than actually had and that this last holiday season had exploded that into large numbers. Nice to have some data. (Of course, then Shatzkin makes a crazy prediction about this doubling again and again which I do not agree with, but a minor look-into-the-future difference of looking at the same data. I still believe this number will level in a few years around 30 to 35%. It is at 21% now. That’s still fantastic growth over 17% last year.)
Shatzkin’s point #8 from the survey also surprised me as well. He says, “A startling stat: more device owners are reading a printed book on any given day than an electronic one. Only 49% of Kindle and Nook owners are reading an ebook on any given day, but 59% (of Kindle and Nook device owners) are reading a printed book.”
Why this surprised me is because, again, I’ve been listening too much to the tight circle of indie publishers and not paying enough attention to real readers. And I clearly haven’t been listening to myself over the last year as I kept repeating that printed books are here to stay and indie publishers need to move also toward POD publishing after they learn the electronic side. (Note, back to my post about my charts two posts below this one.)
So this data was a nice confirmation about what I felt and knew, yet had started to think twice about. (grin)
Worth reading both the Pew Survey and Shatzkin’s post about it.