Print book reading tops in US despite rise of tablets

January 16, 2014
A man reads a memoir by former US President George W. Bush in this November 9, 2010 at his home in Manassas, Virginia

A Pew Research Center study release on Thursday showed that US readers reach for ink-and-paper books despite the rising popularity of tablets and digital works.

While the portion of people who read e-books grew in the past year, most in the United States opted for print editions during that same time period, the Pew survey revealed.

"The proportion of Americans who read e-books is growing, but few have completely replaced print books for electronic versions," researchers said in an overview of the findings.

"Print remains the foundation of Americans' reading habits."

The percentage of US adults who read an e-book in the past year rose to 28 percent from 23 percent. Meanwhile about seven out of ten Americans reported reading printed works, in a rise of four percent from 2012.

Only four percent of readers claimed to be "e-book only," according to Pew research.

Overall, 76 percent of US adults read a book in some form during the twelve months prior to the survey, which was taken this month.

The survey also showed that e-book reading devices, including tablet computers, are spreading through the population.

About 42 percent of US adults own tablet computers, up from 34 percent in September of last year, according to Pew. Half of Americans have either a or dedicated e-reader such as Kindle or Nook, up from 43 percent in September.

Amazon.com does not disclose sales details for its Kindle devices, but market tracker Compass Intelligence estimates the online retail titan sold 18.2 million Kindle Fire tables last year and likely sold another five million of its dedicated Kindle e-readers.

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