New Study Shows E-Readers More Popular Than Tablets


by Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)

Many of you may have received a tablet such as an iPad or an Android for Christmas a few days ago. In fact, you may be using it to read this article right now. But did you know e-readers are actually more popular with consumers? In a recent study by the Pew Research Center, results found the number of those who read e-books jumped from 18% to 33% in the past year. Only 25% of those polled owned a tablet such as an iPad or Kindle Fire. Because of this e-reader surge, traditional readership declined from 72% to 67%.

This is not an either/or situation, though – 3% of the participants noted they owned both devices.

This growth has in part contributed to the decline of print. Newsweek announced this past October that they will soon transition into an all-digital format. Libraries are reporting an increase in e-book titles. According to a summer report by The Wall Street Journal, the New York City Public Library systems partnered with Penguin Group and e-book publisher 3M to distribute nearly 15,000 digital books. The success of this campaign contributed to awareness of e-book lending by libraries to jump from 24% to 31%.

Who is likely to own an e-reader? Pew’s study determined it is mostly those with college or graduate degrees, those who live in households earning more than $75,000, and those whose ages fall between 30 and 49.

This led CNN to ask the question of why exactly e-readers are more popular than tablets. They note tablets offer far more features while e-readers are usually limited to just the buying, downloading, reading, and annotating of books. Plus e-readers feature a black and white display and lack a touch screen.

They decided price probably plays a big role, with a Kindle selling for $114 and the least expensive iPad going for $499.

What are your thoughts? Have you replaced traditional books with their digital counterparts? Or are you in the minority that prefers tablets?


  1. RDlenixDecember 28th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I’m not a huge tablet fan. Everything a tablet could do for me, I can do with my laptop and my Samsung Galaxy S2. However, I do have an eReader. I bought a Kindle Touch last year for $50 bucks new on Craigslist and use it some of the time. Usually I still buy books (because I read old psychology books that are usually a couple dollars on amazon or but when I’m in a bind and have no time to run to the store to get a book (or wait for it to ship), I love using my Kindle. Insta-books. It is also nice for reading the “A Song of Fire and Ice” series, considering how huge those books are. Kindle cuts down on the bulk.

  2. lady_CroftDecember 28th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I have had a Nook Touch for about an year and a half now and I love it. I’m studying philology so there’s a lot of reading and I use the e-book for a very big part of it. Thanks to Calibre I can transform every file into .epub so I can read it and it’s very helpful. The article says the e-readers lack touch screens. Well, that’s not true – mine has one. It has a nice contrast and it doesn’t make me tired or heart my eyes.

    I don’t have a tablet and don’t want one right now. For everything else I use a computer, laptop or my phone. The Nook replaced only the books for me and that’s exactly what I needed it for. 🙂

  3. Stephanie M.December 28th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I do not own an ereader yet but I have been considering getting one for quite some time. As much as I love the feel and smell of a book, they can get quite expensive. My mother owns a first generation iPad and using it to read books all the time and says that the books are cheaper to buy electronically. I think I might jump on that bandwagon soon….after I get my income tax return check back. 🙂

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