The percentage of adult Americans who read a book this fall fell to 75% from 78% a year ago, according to new survey findings by the Pew Research Center released December 27. The survey of Americans age 16 and older found that 23% of people in the age bracket read e-books in the previous 12 months, up from 16% a year ago, while the percentage who read print books fell to 67% from 72%.
The survey, from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, was conducted from October 15-November 10 among 2,252 Americans 16 and up. The increase in e-book reading was fueled by higher ownership of digital reading devices, with the survey finding that 33% of Americans 16 and up had either a dedicated e-reader or a tablet, up from 18% in late 2011.
E-book usage among library patrons also rose in the last year, although it still remained at relatively low levels. Five percent of recent library users said they had borrowed an e-book in the past year, up from 3%; the percentage of library users who are aware that e-books are available at the library took a more significant upturn, rising to 31% from 24%.