Quarter of U.S. Buys Ebooks, Number Expected to Nearly Double by 2014, Survey Says

Digital Book World

March 14, 2013
Just over a quarter of Americans currently buy ebooks and nearly half plan to do so in a year’s time, according to a new survey from free ebook service Bookboon.

According to the survey, conducted in person and over the internet among nearly 6,000 U.S. adults, 27.1% currently buy ebooks and 22.7% expect to within a year, meaning that by 2014 about half of Americans will be buying ebooks.

This survey should be taken with a grain of salt. Bookboon put out a survey in Sept. that claimed that more than half of U.S. students preferred e-textbooks — however, adoption is incredibly low (about 6%) and other surveys and anecdotal evidence have been in lockstep asserting that students don’t yet prefer digital textbooks.

Bookboon also said in the beginning of 2012 that it intended to take 10% of the U.S. ebook market share by the end of the year and that hasn’t happened yet.

However, this particular survey seems to be in line with other surveys on similar topics:

– On the number of U.S. adults reading ebooks: about a quarter
– On the number of U.S. adults who own e-readers: about one-in-six
– On the number of U.S. adults who own tablets: between a quarter and a third

So, having passed this loose validation scheme, here are some other interesting stats from the report:

– 17.8% of Americans plan on buying an e-reader or a tablet computer or both by 2014
– 57.7% of Americans think that 50% or more of their book reading will be ebooks in three years; among current tablet owners, that number is 71.9% (read: tablet owners see the device as a place to read ebooks)
– 22.2% of Americans don’t plan to start reading ebooks any time in the next three years