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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : October 01, 2010

eReader ownership low but users read, buy more books

Just one in ten Americans currently own some type of eReader, according to a new study from Harris Interactive, and of those that don't own one not many plan to purchase one in the coming months. However, those that do own eReaders read more and buy more books.

by Helen Leggatt

Much has been made of the Kindles and Nooks of the eReader world but, according to Harris Interactive's findings, there's no great rush to acquire one in the next six months.

Of those American adults who do not currently own an eReader, just 12% say they are likely to get one in the next six months. The vast majority, 80% in total, say they are "not very likely" (21%) or "not at all likely" (59%) to purchase an eReader during that time.

eReader ownership appears to have a positive effect on reading habits, with over half (53%) of owners saying they read much more now than they did six months ago.

"With eReader sales expected to continue to climb and as more devices now become available, it is inevitable that reading habits of Americans will also change," concludes Harris Interactive. "The issue is: how will they change? At the moment, it is too early to tell for sure, but this early evidence is pointing to something good - people seem to be reading more if they have an eReader which is something the publishing industry, which has been in decline over recent years, is sure to celebrate."

Ebook sales are benefiting from eReaders' increased appetites. After rising by an impressive 118% in June, ebook sales jumped 150% in July, to $40.8 million. According to Publishers Weekly, sales for the first seven months of the year were up 191%, to almost $220 million.

Tags: ebook, eReader

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