In another sign that the industry is moving toward a hybrid market, fewer e-book buyers reported buying only digital titles this spring than a year ago. According to Book Industry Study Group’s newest edition of "Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading" report, the percentage of e-book consumers who exclusively or mostly purchase e-books fell from nearly 70% in August 2011 to 60% in May 2012. Over the same period, the percentage of survey respondents who have no preference for either e-book or print formats, or who buy some genres in e-book format and others in print, rose from 25% percent to 34%.

The study also tracks changes in device ownership, showing that Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet has overtaken Apple’s iPad among e-book consumers. Ownership of the Kindle Fire has grown from 7% of respondents in December 2011 to 20% in May, while the iPad share has remained flat at 17%. Ownership of other tablets remains relatively low, with 5% of respondents owning a Nook tablet and 8% another Android-based tablet.

As had been expected, multifunction devices are taking an increasingly large slice of the digital reading market. While the Kindle e-reader is still the most often cited primary device for reading e-books, its 35% share is down from 48% in August 2011, the report found. Not all tablets are increasing in use: Apple’s iPad decreased slightly from 10% in February to 9% in May, the report said, while black-and-white and color versions of the Nook e-reader also dropped, falling from 17% in August 2011 to 13% in May 2.

For more information on the report go to