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Research papers

Are we reading too much into the rise of e-books?


We’ve recently conducted some research with Incite looking at traditional books and e-books. 1,000 UK (nationally representative) adults completed the online survey in January 2014. Participants needed to have read at least one book (digital or paper format) in the last 12 months to qualify.

 Here are the key findings:

 Physical (paper) and digital (e) books can coexist successfully:

  • 47% read both paper and e-books
  • 37% read paper books only
  • ONLY 4% read e-books only

Of which 66% of consumers aged 18-34 read both paper and e-books

People who read both physical and e-books read about 50% more than those who only use one or the other format.

  • People who use both formats, read 27.3 books a year on average – more than one per fortnight
  • People who only use e-readers only read 18.5 books a year on average
  • People who only use paper books read 17.4 books a year on average

It seems publishers should encourage people to buy e-readers as well as traditional paper books, as having both is when they read most.

Using an e-reader device is considered more convenient and fashionable, but less tactile, natural, pleasurable or relaxing than paper books.

Gifting is key to driving e-reader device acquisition.

While there are distinct channels for purchasing paper and e-books, there are few differences in genres read in each format.

For the full stats contact