A recent reprrt found that 78% of adults read a book in the past year, and 14% of these readers borrowed the most recent book they read from a library. ALA President Molly Raphael noted, “Much of the report confirms trends to which we’ve been eyewitnesses: Four times the number of people report reading ebooks on a typical day now compared with only two years ago." The research also suggests that more formats (print, audio and electronic options) are a boon for power readers. The average reader of e-books has read more books in the past 12 months that those who read only in print. And 30 percent of those who read e-content (including long-form digital content such as e-books, news articles, magazines and journals) now spend more time reading, and this figure is even higher for people who own e-readers and tablets. Of great concern, though, are findings that there is a significant gap in those who have read an e-book in the last year versus those who did not based on level of education and income (34 percent of those who read an e-book had some college education, compared to 19 percent of high school graduates or less education; and 38 percent of those with household incomes greater than $75,000 had read an e-book, compared with 20 percent of those with incomes less than $30,000), and that fewer people overall are reading books. The percentage of adults who said they had NOT read a book in the last year or did not answer the question is 22 percent – which is greater than the percentage of adults who read an e-book. This compares to past Gallup surveys about reading in which 17 percent of adults did not answer the question or reported not reading in the past year in 2005, or 12 percent who reported this was the case in 1978, when the first Gallup survey took place.
Another issue to watch is the availability of e-content. While a majority reports they find e-content in the format they want, 23 percent say the material they want is “only sometimes,” “hardly ever” or never available.
Pew Internet and American Life Project. (2012). The Rise of E-Reading. Washington, DC: Author.