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Old 10-08-2013, 01:13 AM   #1
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USA TODAY article: 40% of adults own an e-reader or tablet

An article in USA Today titled "E-books are changing reading habits" discusses results of a poll regarding e-reader/tablet ownership and reading habits:

Quote:
A poll conducted for USA TODAY and Bookish, a website designed to help people find and buy books, finds that 40% of adults — including 46% of those ages 18 to 39 — own an e-reader or a tablet. That's more than double the numbers less than two years ago.

Reading devices are even more popular among college graduates (60% say they have one) and those with annual household incomes of at least $75,000 (62%).

According to the poll, 35% of those with reading devices say they're reading more books since they got their reading devices.
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:24 AM   #2
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With an ereader, I now have more access to more books than I did without one. Price and availability are the key here. I either get them free or at very low prices. Additionally, obscure titles are now easier to get.

All hail the mighty ereader
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:03 AM   #3
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All hail the mighty ereader
Yes!

Easy access to books is priceless! I still find it amazing that an e-book is delivered to my Kindle just a few seconds after purchase!

I read a lot more with my Kindle than I did before I got it. It's easier to hold than a paper book, and I really appreciate the adjustable font size. There's much less clutter in the house now too since I donated most of my paper books to charity.

I've enjoyed many low-cost books by indie authors that I never would have been exposed to otherwise, and I have access to thousands of free e-books at libraries, Amazon, and elsewhere. E-readers are here to stay in my household!
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:08 AM   #4
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I bet if you broke down that 40% of adults the numbers would be something like 75% have a tablet.

I think I would prefer to know how many people with a tablet have downloaded an e-reader app. That would give a better indication of how many folks have a device that they plan on using for reading books.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
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I bet if you broke down that 40% of adults the numbers would be something like 75% have a tablet.

I think I would prefer to know how many people with a tablet have downloaded an e-reader app. That would give a better indication of how many folks have a device that they plan on using for reading books.
Agree. USA Today considered any tablet "a reading device", and that's simply untrue. I bet 97-98% on the "reading device" statistics are tablets.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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Last night, I was watching a show, and they were talking about the book "12 Years As a Slave" I clicked on Amazon, and downloaded the book before they were done talking about it. Before my ereader, I would have put a hold on it at the library. Definitely buying more books.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:18 PM   #7
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I don't want to disparage a reputable newspape like US Today, but the figure of 40% seem highly implausible.

Consider that only 34% of adults have access to the Internet (as of June 2012; source: World Internet Users Statistics). And 1.2 billion people don't even have regular access to electricity.

I suspect the statistics were based on people in a particular country or region, or perhaps those who responded to an on-line survey and so by definition have Internet access (which is hardly a cross-section of the population). If so, they ought to make that clear.

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Old 10-08-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
I don't want to disparage a reputable newspape like US Today, but the figure of 40% seem highly implausible.

Consider that only 34% of adults have access to the Internet (as of June 2012; source: World Internet Users Statistics). And 1.2 billion people don't even have regular access to electricity.

I suspect the statistics were based on people in a particular country or region, or perhaps those who responded to an on-line survey and so by definition have Internet access (which is hardly a cross-section of the population). If so, they ought to make that clear.

Mike
The subtitle of the report is:
"Technology is changing the way Americans read, and those under 40 are leading the way."
Emphasis added.

Also the source info says it was a sample of 1000 adults nationwide with an additional survey of 819 ereader and tablet owners later.

Last edited by ApK; 10-08-2013 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:38 PM   #9
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A recent Fox News article is titled "Pew survey finds that 15 percent of Americans don't use the Internet." So that implies that 85 percent of American poll participants do use the Internet.

That seems in line with my own observations of family, friends, and the local community, but I do realize it is quite different in other parts of the world—and even within certain areas/demographic groups in the U.S.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApK View Post
The subtitle of the report is:
"Technology is changing the way Americans read, and those under 40 are leading the way."
I did see the subtitle. And of course it's indisputable. Technology is changing the way Americans read. No argument.

But my point was that the report didn't say anything about what the population was that was surveyed - or how they were selected. It merely said adults. The fact that the subtitle drew a conclusion about Americans might well be valid, but there was nothing in the report that linked that to the survey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApK View Post
Also the source info says it was a sample of 1000 adults nationwide with an additional survey of 819 ereader and tablet owners later.
I can't see the word "nationwide" anywhere in the report. But I'll accept it's there and I just can't see it.

I note that the report was produced in association with Bookish. I suspect that Bookish did its research by asking visitors to its site to take part in an on-line survey. Since Bookish is "a website designed to help people find and buy books", its site visitors are hardly likely to be representative of the population as a whole, even of a relatively tech-aware country like the US.

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Old 10-08-2013, 04:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamWriter View Post
A recent Fox News article is titled "Pew survey finds that 15 percent of Americans don't use the Internet."
The World Internet User Statistics that I referenced says that 21% of American don't use the Internet. I guess that's broadly in line with your Fox News figure (especially as my figures were from June 2012).

Also, it's not clear whether that means someone who doesn't use the Internet on a day-to-day basis, or someone who has never used the Internet.

Mike
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
I note that the report was produced in association with Bookish. I suspect that Bookish did its research by asking visitors to its site to take part in an on-line survey. Since Bookish is "a website designed to help people find and buy books", its site visitors are hardly likely to be representative of the population as a whole, even of a relatively tech-aware country like the US.

Mike
It was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates on behalf of USA Today and Bookish. PSRA does telephone surveys. Though this one was done in August, I imagine the methods used were similar to their survey in June documented here.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:52 PM   #13
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I can't see the word "nationwide" anywhere in the report. But I'll accept it's there and I just can't see it.

Mike
It's part of the image at the bottom of the linked page:
http://imgur.com/PqDN2Qr

Survey methodologies are rarely explicitly stated in news articles, but I'd think if the source is legit, the methodology and data is available from them if anyone wanted to check.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:57 PM   #14
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A bit depressing how tablet has become synonymous with ereader. But if the average person doesn't have a problem with eyestrain - yet - who am I to judge?
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:36 PM   #15
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A bit depressing how tablet has become synonymous with ereader. But if the average person doesn't have a problem with eyestrain - yet - who am I to judge?
Aren't we talking here about a survey that explicitly tracks e-readers SEPARATELY from tablets?

The fact they can both be used to read ebooks...and they are...does not make them synonymous, but it does make them the two most important device categories to track when looking at ebook readership. I'm surprised they did't include smartphones too.
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