U.S. ebook use rises slightly in annual Pew survey—from 27 percent to 28 percent


Maybe the difference is too small to count, but 28 percent of Americans surveyed in March and April 2016 said they had read ebooks in the past 12 months, compared to 27 percent the previous year, according to Pew Research. The percentage reading paper books rose from 63 to 65 percent.

So what do the Pew numbers mean?

Well, if Pew is right, so much for Luddites’ hopes that ebooks are fading away. Consumption is at least holding stable despite all the talk about ebooks being on the way out, and despite the price increases that Big Five publishers have inflicted on readers.

Not that nirvana is here—a Nielsen survey released in May 2016 showed that ebooks are a smaller percentage of the market than before and annual unit volume fell in 2015. But then we need to consider such factors as the availability of bestsellers most likely to be popular in E vs. P. I’d suspect that romances, thrillers, and young…

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