Survey Shows Changes in E-Book Buying Habits

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

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).


PDF: Summary Report Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading

About the Book Industry Study Group, Inc.

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