One third of consumers in the U.S. own an e-book reading device.
According to Pew’s ongoing Internet & American Life survey, 25 percent of respondents owns a tablet, with e-reader ownership standing at 19 percent.
One in every three consumer owns either device -- a tablet, e-reader -- or both for e-reading. That statistic doubles the increase for tablets in December 2011, which is when tablets and e-readers were level; 10 percent of those surveyed said they owned one or the other.
The rise in tablet and e-reader ownership directly impacted how many consumers are purchasing e-books as opposed to printed books. The percentage of Americans who now read e-books increased to 23 percent in 2012, representing a 7 percent increase from 16 percent a year ago. During the same period, the percentage of those who read printed books decreased to 67 percent from 72 percent.
From the poll carried out in October and November, the percentage of consumers who own a tablet or dedicated e-reader increased to 33 percent from 18 percent in 2011.
"Last year (not this year) we asked a question about whether people were reading more now that so much content was digitized," Lee Rainie, director of the survey, told TechCrunch. "Thirty percent of people who read digital content — either books or longform journalism — say they are reading more now that they have the devices. So, it might be the case that as the price of devices and maybe some books continues to fall, some more people might take the plunge and get the device. "Book reading has almost always been something that richer people do more than poorer people do."
Pew's data is based on a survey conducted from October 15 to November 10, 2012. 2,252 Americans aged 16 and older were surveyed.