Reading More with eReaders
Are you thinking about getting an eReader for someone as a holiday present – a student, another adult, or maybe even yourself? Then you might be interested in a recent Harris Poll that looks at the reading habits of those who have eReaders and those who don’t.
In a nutshell, the survey of 2775 Americans found that people with eReaders purchase more books and actually read more.
In the general population, 2 in 5 Americans (40%) read over 11 to 20 books a year. About one in 5 (19%) reads 21 or more books. Among those with eReaders, however, 36% read 11 to 20 books, and 26% read over 21 books a year.
Poll results show that 21% of Americans say they haven’t purchased a book over the past year. Only 8% of people with eReaders say they haven’t.
Pollsters admit that the sample is too small to claim real change, but insist that the numbers nonetheless reveal a trend towards changing reading habits. Critics say, for example, that people with eReaders may download more books than they actually read and that in fact their reading habits remain the same as they were before eReaders. However, over half of eReader respondents say they read more now than they did before while over half of non-eReader users say they read the same as they did earlier.
I’ve always been an avid reader, and I love my eReader. Here’s what I love about it: When you finish a book, you don’t have to make a trip to the library or Barnes and Noble to get something else (particularly the next book in a sequence), nor do you have to wait a few days for Amazon to deliver. Instead, whatever you want to read next is downloaded in minutes. This is how I managed to stop everything else for three days to read The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. When I finished The Paris Wife, I could go directly to A Moveable Feast to compare the two points of view. And it’s a lot more convenient on a long flight to travel with one slim eReader than the entire Stieg Larsson trilogy (of course, you need to turn it off when the flight attendant suggests so you’re not an eJerk).
How young is too young for an eReader? Hard to tell, but I’ve seen kindergartners use them, and some, of course, are made specifically for kids. Maybe if you can read a book you’re ready for the e-version. The survey, of course, focused on adult respondents, so we don’t have any data on kids. It would be interesting to see if using the eReader encouraged kids to read more.