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Ebook Reading on the Rise, Printed Books on the Decline

Mashable shared an article on a month-long study which found more Americans readers, ages 16 and older, are embracing e-readers. The number of traditional readers dropped from 72% to 67% from last year, while digital bookworms jumped from 16% to 23%. While two thirds still read paper books, trends show ebook reading on the rise.

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photo credit: Johan Larsson via photopin cc

“These data show that the process of book reading is shifting,” Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project Lee Rainie recently wrote. “The rise of e-reading devices has major implications that are affecting the publishing industry and eventually could affect the way knowledge is packaged and the way ideas are spread.”

I recently met with Dr. John Barge, the Georgia School Superintendent and his curriculum specialist Dr. Mike Buck and discussed this issue. They feel that Georgia schools are likely ten years away from seeing e-books take over traditional text books, but they see it coming. It inevitably would spare schools costs and the books could be updated easily when they’re electronic. Makes sense.

Broader e-reader and tablet ownership fuels the increased popularity of digital novels. Compared to the results from a phone survey conducted in May 2010, the percentage of individuals who own either a tablet or e-book reader increased from 6% to 33% in November 2012, according to Pew’s latest trend report.

Libraries across the nation that recognize the trend are building e-book collections. This summer, two New York City public library systems partnered up with Penguin Group and electronic-book distributor 3M to distribute nearly 15,000 digital titles, according to a Wall Street Journal report. About 31% of national public libraries currently offer e-books, compared to 2011’s 24%. Digital book rentals at the library have increased from 3% to 5% in a year.

Have you replaced print books with digital editions? Tell me why or why not.

Ebook Reading on the Rise, Printed Books on the Decline