Released: April 20, 2012

E-books aren’t just for e-readers: A deep dive into the data

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One of my favorite findings in our recent e-reading report was the breakdown of how people read their e-books. While there is a (very understandable) tendency to associate e-books with dedicated e-reading devices, we found that among people who read e-books, just as many read their e-books on a desktop or laptop computer as on an e-book reader like a Kindle or Nook—and more people read e-books on their cell phones than on tablet computers.

A lot of what we’re seeing with the above chart has to do with the relative popularity of each of these devices. Cell phones and computers are relatively ubiquitous these days—more than eight in ten adults own a cell phone, and at least three-quarters own a desktop or laptop computer.

When we examine the above data in terms of device ownership, then, we see that people who specifically own e-reading devices like e-readers or tablets are particularly likely to read e-books.

Drilling down even further, we find that e-reader and tablet owners also read pretty frequently compared with owners of other devices. The following chart shows the same data as the one above, only with additional information about the frequency of reading e-books on those devices.

As you can see, among people who own a cell phone and read e-books, just one in twenty (5%) read e-books on their phones every day or almost every day. However, among e-book readers who own a dedicated e-reader like a Kindle or Nook, almost a third (32%) read e-books on that device on a daily basis.

Where do you read your e-books: On your phone? Laptop? E-reader? All of the above? Head on over to our Facebook page and let us know! And for more reactions from around the web on the state of e-reading, check out this storify compilation of comments and insights from the report.