One in Ten Americans Use an eReader; One in Ten Likely To Get One in Next Six Months

    NEW YORK, N.Y. – September 22, 2010 – Reading used to be simple. One would get a book – either purchased or taken out of a library, and read it. Now, the options for reading still include these two, but there is also the option to download a book onto an eReader. Has the introduction of this new way of reading changed reading habits? Right now, just one in ten Americans (8%) uses an electronic reader device of some kind, so any real changes may take a while to detect, but some small ones are noticeable now.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,775 adults surveyed online between August 9 and 16, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

     

    USE E-READER

    Total

    %

    Yes

    8

    No

    92

     

    First, those who have eReaders do, in fact, read more. Overall, two in five Americans (40%) read 11 or more books a year with one in five reading 21 or more books in a year (19%). But among those who have an eReader, over one-third read 11-20 books a year (36%) and over one-quarter read 21 or more books in an average year (26%).

     

    BOOKS READ IN A YEAR

     

    eReader

    Uses

    Does not use

    %

    %

    0

    1

    10

    1-2

    3

    15

    3-5

    16

    21

    6-10

    19

    16

    11-20

    36

    19

    21+

    26

    19

     

    EReader users are also more likely to buy books. One in five Americans (21%) say they have not purchased any books in the past year compared to only 8% of eReader users who say the same. Just over one in ten Americans purchased between 11 and 20 books (11%) or 21 or more books (12%) in the past year. Again, eReader users are more likely to have bought, or downloaded books, as 17% purchased between 11 and 20 and 20% purchased 21 or more books in the past year.

     

    BOOKS PURCHASED IN PAST YEAR

     

    eReader

    Uses

    Does not use

    %

    %

    0

    8

    22

    1-2

    8

    18

    3-5

    18

    22

    6-10

    30

    16

    11-20

    17

    11

    21+

    20

    11

    Likelihood to get an eReader

    Among those adults who do not currently have an eReader, just over one in ten (12%) say they are likely to get one in the next six months. However, 21% are not very likely to purchase an eReader and three in five (59%) are not at all likely. Those in the West (16%) and East (14%) are more likely to purchase an eReader in the next six months, whereas seven in ten Midwesterners (69%) say they are not at all likely to do so. Age wise, Gen Xers (those aged 34-45) are most likely to say they will purchase one in the next six months (15%).

     

    LIKELY TO GET AN E-READER

    Total

    %

    Likely (NET)

    12

    Very likely

    3

    Somewhat likely

    9

    Not likely (NET)

    80

    Not very likely

    21

    Not at all likely

    59

    Not at all sure

    8

     

    Change in reading habits

    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%) say they read more now than they did 6 months ago compared to 18% of non-eReader users. Over half (51%) of non-users say they read the same as they did 6 months ago compared to one-quarter (25%) of eReader users.

     

    CHANGE IN READING HABITS

    Total

    %

    I read the same amount as I did before

    49

    Iread less than I did before.

    23

    I read more than I did before.

    21

    I purchase more books now, but do not read them as readily as I did before.

    4

    Not at all sure

    4

     

    So what?

    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. 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.

     

     

    TABLE 1

    BOOKS READ IN A YEAR

    How many books do you typically read in an average year? If you are not sure, please use your best estimate.

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    e-Reader

    Generation

    Income

    Uses

    Does not use

    Echo Boomers (18-33)

    Gen. X (34-45)

    Baby Boomers (46-64)

    Matures (65+)

    $34.9K or less

    $35K-$49.9K

    $50K-$74.9K

    $75K+

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    0

    9

    1

    10

    7

    10

    12

    7

    15

    13

    8

    7

    1-2

    14

    3

    15

    11

    15

    15

    13

    12

    15

    16

    13

    3-5

    20

    16

    21

    23

    22

    22

    12

    23

    20

    18

    22

    6-10

    16

    19

    16

    18

    15

    15

    19

    13

    16

    16

    19

    11-20

    21

    36

    19

    24

    20

    18

    22

    17

    16

    26

    21

    21+

    19

    26

    19

    18

    18

    18

    27

    20

    20

    15

    18

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

     

    TABLE 2

    BOOKS PURCHASED IN PAST YEAR

    How many books have you purchased in the past year? If you are not sure, please use your best estimate.

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    e-Reader

    Generation

    Uses

    Does not use

    Echo Boomers (18-33)

    Gen. X (34-45)

    Baby Boomers (46-64)

    Matures (65+)

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    0

    21

    8

    22

    19

    21

    24

    21

    1-2

    17

    8

    18

    18

    21

    16

    15

    3-5

    22

    18

    22

    23

    19

    25

    18

    6-10

    17

    30

    16

    19

    17

    15

    15

    11-20

    11

    17

    11

    12

    12

    9

    14

    21+

    12

    20

    11

    9

    10

    12

    17

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

     

    TABLE 3

    USE E-READER

    Do you use an electronic reader device, such as a Kindle, an iPad or a Nook, to read books?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Region

    East

    Midwest

    South

    West

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Yes

    8

    14

    6

    6

    7

    No

    92

    86

    94

    94

    93

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

     

    TABLE 4

    LIKELY TO GET AN E-READER

    How likely do you think you will be to get an e-reader device within the next six months?

    Base: Adults who do not use an e-reader

     

    Total

    Region

    Generation

    East

    Midwest

    South

    West

    Echo Boomers (18-33)

    Gen. X (34-45)

    Baby Boomers (46-64)

    Matures (65+)

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Likely (NET)

    12

    14

    7

    12

    16

    11

    15

    14

    7

    Very likely

    3

    6

    2

    3

    3

    3

    5

    3

    3

    Somewhat likely

    9

    9

    5

    9

    13

    9

    10

    11

    4

    Not likely (NET)

    80

    78

    89

    77

    77

    83

    77

    77

    86

    Not very likely

    21

    20

    20

    20

    24

    23

    18

    20

    22

    Not at all likely

    59

    58

    69

    57

    54

    60

    59

    57

    64

    Not at all sure

    8

    8

    4

    11

    6

    6

    8

    9

    7

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

     

    TABLE 5

    CHANGE IN READING HABITS

    Over the past 6 months, how have your reading habits changed? Please choose the statement that best describes you.

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    e-Reader

    Uses

    Does not use

    %

    %

    %

    I read the same amount as I did before

    49

    25

    51

    I read less than I did before.

    23

    18

    23

    I read more than I did before.

    21

    53

    18

    I purchase more books now, but do not read them as readily as I did before.

    4

    4

    4

    Not at all sure

    4

     

    4

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding;

    indicates less than .05%

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between August 9 to 16, 2010 among 2,775 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

    J38557

    Q805, 810, 815, 817, 820

    The Harris Poll ® #108, September 22, 2010

    By Regina A. Corso, Director The Harris Poll, Harris Interactive

     

    About Harris Interactive

    Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.