Every Fourth U.S. Resident Owns a Media Tablet – Report

Popularity of E-Books Grows as Tablets Gain Market Share

by Anton Shilov
12/28/2012 | 12:29 AM

According to Pew Research Center, the popularity of electronic books (e-books) in the United States is growing rapidly as a lot of people continue to embrace various media tablets. At present, every fourth U.S. resident owns a media tablet and every third person owns either a tablet of a special e-book reader.


Quite logically, the move toward e-book reading coincides with an increase in ownership of electronic book reading devices. In all, the number of owners of either a tablet computer or e-book reading device such as a Kindle or Nook grew from 18% in late 2011 to 33% in late 2012. As of November 2012, some 25% of Americans ages 16 and older own tablet computers such as iPads or Kindle Fires, up from 10% who owned tablets in late 2011. In late 2012 19% of Americans ages 16 and older own e-book reading devices such as Kindles and Nooks, compared with 10% who owned such devices at the same time last year.

This move toward e-books has also affected libraries. The share of recent library users who have borrowed an e-book from a library has increased from 3% last year to 5% this year. Moreover, awareness of e-book lending by libraries is growing. The share of those in the overall population who are aware that libraries offer e-books has jumped from 24% late last year to 31% now.

The number of those who read e-books increased from 16% of all Americans to 23%. At the same time, the number of those who read printed books in the previous 12 months fell from 72% of the population ages 16 and older to 67%.

These latest figures come from a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project which was conducted on October 15 - November 10, 2012 among 2252 Americans ages 16 and older. The margin of error is ±2.3%.