Since November 2009, analysts at Bowker Research have been tracking the habits and preferences of book consumers who say they have acquired an e-book or a dedicated e-reading device within the past 18 months. This survey of Consumer Attitudes toward E-Book Reading is being conducted for the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), a leading trade association for the U.S. book industry.
According to recently released data from the survey, e-book consumers are buying more books—both in print and e-book formats. More than half of e-book readers increased their use of apps to purchase books and more than one-third increased their use of general retail websites such as Amazon.com.
The gains for these digital vendors come at the expense of brick-and-mortar bookstores. More than a third of e-book buyers decreased their spending at national chains and 29% said they are buying less from their local independent bookseller.
“The e-book market is developing very quickly, with consumer attitudes and behavior changing over the course of months, rather than years,” said Angela Bole, BISG’s Deputy Executive Director.
While dedicated e-readers remain the dominant e-reading platform, the study shows that multi-function tablet devices and smartphones are gaining in popularity.
Almost 17% of respondents indicated that tablets were the devices most used to read ebooks— up from 13% in the previous survey.
Dedicated e-readers were preferred by 60.9% of all respondents, down from 71.6% in the previous survey.
Respondents who preferred smartphones jumped from 5.3% to 9.2%.
The data in the Consumer Attitudes toward E-Book Reading survey is derived from a nationally representative panel of book consumers (men, women and teens).