New Study Reveals eBook Readers Buy More Books

(image courtesy MaximumPC)

Do you own a Kindle or a nook and feel like you’re reading more than usual? As it turns out, it’s not just in your head. A recent study has shown that 40% of ebook reader owners read more than before, while 58% read at least the same amount! No wonder ebooks are growing at triple digit rates!

There’s some fascinating statistics cited in the Wall Street Journal regarding ebook readers. Apparently some studies have shown that people reading ebooks on a Kindle or nook read SLOWER than readers of paper books. Even more interesting, there was a slowdown even with iPad users, so eInk was not the bottleneck. And yet people are still reading more on ebook readers than paper books, so the slowdown clearly isn’t enough to stop them! Personally I’ve never timed myself while reading paper versus Kindle, but my perception has always been that I read books more quickly on the Kindle.

The Wall Street Journal theorized the rise in readers was due to the portability of Kindles, nooks and iPads. I think that’s probably a big part of it, but the WSJ ignored another major factor in ebooks: PRICE! Even with higher prices from the “agency model”, ebooks still run 40-50% cheaper than their hardcover counterparts, and usually a few dollars cheaper than their paperback ones. When you can not only carry the NY Times bestseller list with you, but also buy it for half the cost of the paper counterparts, you’re bound to spend (and read) more with the same book budget.

I also wonder if increased sales of ebooks has to do with justifying the hardware purchase. If you buy a paper book and it sits on the shelf unread, you’re out a few dollars. If you don’t use your Kindle or nook, you’re out significantly more cash. So while the study didn’t specifically measure that, I wonder if there’s a drive to keep reading and buying ebooks to use the shiny, expensive new device. Well, that and it’s just incredibly convenient and easy!

In any case, more people buying ebooks and using ebook readers is definitely a good thing! In an age where it seems like reading is declining, it’s exciting to see spots of growth. And the success of the Kindle 3, the nook WiFi, and similar devices is proving there’s space for ebook readers and tablets in the marketplace. I’m curious: Do you read more with an ebook reader than you did before? And do you feel you read slower or faster on an electronic device?

Via the Wall Street Journal

Categories: eBooks, News

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7 replies

  1. I guess it depends on how they got their data. If they got it through sales figures alone, it might be misleading. For me, I spent quite a bit of money buying e-copies of books that I already own in hardcopy, because I like to re-read my favorite books. So if they got their data from sales figures, and anyone else is like me, I would expect the ebook figures to drop over time as people finish getting all their favorite books downloaded. (Of course, at the rate *my* favorite books are being released, that’s not going to happen for *years*.)

    Of course, it’s not unlikely that people are *not* like me. Sami tells me that pretty regularly.

    I agree with you that price is a huge factor, as is convenience. Also, think about this: you’re web surfing, and you run into a reference to a book. “Hmm,” you say, “sounds interesting.” You download the sample from B&N or Amazon, read it, decide you like it, and buy the whole thing (for a lot cheaper than the hardcover hardcopy version). Easy. And reinforcing the “stay online” model.

  2. RT @geardiary: New Study Reveals eBook Readers Buy More Books #Amazon Kindle #Apple iPad #Barnes & Noble nook

  3. New Study Reveals eBook Readers Buy More Books | Gear Diary: There's some fascinating statistics cited in the Wall…

  4. New Study Reveals eBook Readers Buy More Books | Gear Diary: There's some fascinating statistics cited in the Wall…

  5. It is interesting – I’ve thought about this for a few days since I read the post. My first thought was ‘no’. I mean, I have been reading etexts in one form or other since hte HP200LX 20 years ago!

    But then I thought about it – I am now reading more, and consuming books more quickly on my iPad using iBooks / Kindle / nook software than I ever have. I actually went back to try reading on a PDA (Psion Revo) and though … wow, I actually did THIS for nearly two decades? 😀

    • Well, I only got my iPad yesterday, but I’m already finding that there are times when it’s good to use the iPad for reading, and times when the iPhone works better (e.g., in the restroom). Sort of like if you were able to carry around both a nice, large hardback and the cut-rate soft cover versionns of the same book.


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