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One in five U.S. adults has read an e-book, survey says

April 05, 2012|By David Sarno
  • Tim Perkins checks out the $199 Kindle Fire tablet from Amazon.com at a Best Buy store in L.A.
Tim Perkins checks out the $199 Kindle Fire tablet from Amazon.com at a Best… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

E-books are catching on quickly, with more than one in five U.S. adults having read an electronic book in the last year.

The rise of electronic reading devices like Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook and Apple's iPad has opened the e-book floodgates, and many more readers are supplementing their print reading with electronic books.

According to a new survey from the Pew Research Center, four times more people said they read an electronic book the day before than in 2010.  Moreover, many people who read electronically say they spend more time reading than they used to, potentially a side-effect of the convenience of the devices, and the lower cost of digital books.

Pew also asked readers what they preferred about digital books to print ones. Many said they liked being able to buy books quickly, to have access to a wide selection of electronic titles, and to be able to travel with many books.  But print books won when it came to reading books to kids and sharing them with friends or family.

"When asked about reading books in bed, the verdict was split: 45% prefer reading e-books in bed, while 43% prefer print," the study said.

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