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Harris Poll: 8 Percent Use Electronic Readers

September 24, 2010
NEW YORK—Depending upon your point of view, a massive revolution is either under way for electronic readers, or going nowhere. According to market research firm Harris Interactive, fewer than one in 10 Americans (8 percent) uses an electronic reader device of some kind.

The online survey of 2,775 adults also found:

• Those who have eReaders do, in fact, read more. Overall, 40 percent of Americans read 11 or more books a year, with 19 percent reading 21 or more books in a year. But among those who have an eReader, 36 percent read 11-20 books a year and 26 percent read 21 or more books in an average year.

• EReader users are also more likely to buy books: 21 percent of Americans say they have not purchased any books in the past year, compared to only 8 percent of eReader users who say the same. As for book purchasers, 17 percent of eReader users purchased between 11 and 20, and 20 percent bought 21 or more books in the past year. Eleven percent of Americans purchased between 11 and 20 books, and 12 percent bought 21 or more books.

Among those adults who do not currently have an eReader, 12 percent say they are likely to get one in the next six months. However, 21 percent are not very likely to purchase an eReader and 59 percent are not at all likely. Those in the West (16 percent) and East (14 percent) are more likely to purchase an eReader in the next six months, whereas 69 percent of Midwesterners say they are not at all likely to do so.

One of the criticisms of eReaders is that people who have them may download more books than they would traditionally purchase, but read at the same levels. So far this criticism is not holding true at all. Over half of people with eReaders (53 percent) say they read more now than they did six months ago compared to 18 percent of non-eReader users, while 51 percent of non-users say they read the same as they did six months ago versus 25 percent of eReader users.
 

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