eReading Survey

The must-have device for readers these days seems to be an e-reader whether Kindle, Nook, Sony, BeBook, or other dedicated reader. For those who want to do more than simply read on a device, there are always computer screens, tablet computers, netbooks, and more.

To test how up to date you are on eReading, I’ve come up with a little multiple choice quiz. (I’m a former teacher. Testing’s in my blood.) The answers come from the recent PEW Report on E-Readers published in April 2012. (The questions use PEW wording so that the results stay true.)

What percentage of Americans have read an eBook?





The average reader of eBooks says she has read how many books in the past 12 months?





In that same 12 months, what was the average number of books read by a non-eBook consumer?





Readers use which devices to read books? (Mark all that apply.)

Computer screen


Dedicated eReaders (Kindle, Nook, etc.)

Tablet computer (iPad, etc.)

People prefer print books to e-readers for which purposes? (Mark all that apply.)

Reading with a child

Sharing a book with others

Reading in bed

Having a wide selection of books to choose

Reading while traveling or commuting

Being able to get a book quickly

A majority of book readers whether of print or eBooks prefer which way of getting their books?

Buy the book

Borrow the book

For the most recent book a person read, which way did they obtain the book?

Borrow it from family, friends, or co-workers

Borrow it from the library

Bought it

Got it from another source

Who reads more?

Those who prefer print on paper

Those who use an eBook

The one place I was disappointed in the PEW study was in its survey about where readers get book recommendations.  The only answers the survey of 2,986 people were given to choose from were a) family members, friends, co-workers, b) online bookstores or other websites, c) staffers in physical bookstores, and d) librarians or library Web sites. This is a little misleading since the question skews the B answer toward bookstores and the D answer toward libraries. I wonder when people were answering this question if they thought of AAR and chose B as an “other” website. My gut feeling is that they didn’t.

The times are definitely changing as far as books and reading are concerned. Fortunately, romances endure whether they are printed on paper or appear as pseudo-ink on eReaders. And AAR is here to help you navigate the glut of reading choices. Or as my husband always reminds me when I’m plodding through a less than scintillating book, “You’re reading so that others don’t have to.” Conversely, I’m reading so that I can express my joy of the reading experience.

I was surprised by many of the findings. Were you?

Answers: 1. C; 2. B; 3. A; 4. All; 5. A and B; 6. A; 7. C; 8. B

-Pat Henshaw

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10 Responses to eReading Survey

  1. Leigh AAR says:

    I wasn’t surprised since I tend to read a lot of articles on e-books. It is amazing to me that people get e-book readers for gifts and are not excited about them at all. I guess it is similar to how people viewed the microwave way back when but now it is pretty much a necessity in most homes.

  2. Carrie says:

    I wasn’t surprised by the answers. I had them all right. ;-) The only one I wavered on answering was who read more, those with ereaders or those without. I decided to go with those who own ereaders mainly because the choice to own an ereader in and of itself shows a dedication to reading. I read with an ereader, although I still read more paper than ebooks. I’m also a big user of libraries, but I’ve observed that many people want to own a book for the convenience of reading it when they want to. Plus the availability of ebooks for loan is spotty. I buy my ebooks, but I try to check paper books out of the library when at all possible.

    My main reason for preferring paper is the ability to quickly go back and skim passages to in the book, like when I realize I’ve missed something important. I also like to be able to go back and read favorite sections of books, or open and skim through some of my favorite reads, or to do a quick scan of a previous book in a series to “catch up” on the particulars of the backstory. I find ereaders frustrating in that way. Highlighting or bookmarking spots only helps if you know at the time you’ll want or need to return to this spot. Most of the time I don’t know that or..duh, I’d pay better attention to the minor details to begin with! ;-)

    • maggie b. says:

      Carrie:The only one I wavered on answering was who read more, those with ereaders or those without. I decided to go with those who own ereaders mainly because the choice to own an ereader in and of itself shows a dedication to reading.

      This was my thinking too. If you own an e-reader, you are probably a pretty serious reader.

      What did surprise me was the low number of people who read e-books. 11% is a relatively small piece of the market. I expected it to be bigger, probably because I know so many readers :-)

  3. Marianne McA says:

    Got them all right too.

    Do we get gold stars?

    I agree completely with Carrie: the most annoying thing with ereading is that you can’t flick back to check some passage. I want to do that so often.

    (And the most annoying thing about ebuying is there’s no virtual equivalent to a good bookshop. I live in hope…)

  4. lauren says:

    I have an off brand e-reader that was a gift…I have never tried to use it and most likely will never use it unless print books become obsolete.
    The numbers make sense…and the market place pricing proves that…sales are low and the price of e-readers continues to fall.

  5. PatH AAR says:

    Carrie and Marianne, if you have Kindles you can do a word or phrase search in the book you’re reading to go back to places where you want o refresh your memory.

    (When you want to remember who Henry was, for example, you can search “Henry wedding” which will bring up all the passages which mention Henry and a wedding. Since I review books using e-galleys, this is how I “go back” to find places in the book that I didn’t highlight. It works really well.)

    If you have a Nook or some other e-reader, I can’t help you, but I imagine they have some sort of search function that will work the same way.

    Also, with the Kindle I can make a note at the end of the chapter with what the chapter had in it which helps me keep plotlines straight. The notes come up in a group, so it’s almost like reading an outline.

    Hope all of this helps!

  6. Sue Stewart says:

    Maggie B., the post says the answer to #1 (how many have read an ebook) is C, which would appear to be 21%. :)

    The quiz lost all its numbering and letters, so it’s pretty hard to follow–probably would have been better to just put the right answer after each question. :)

  7. Nathalie T says:

    It was an interesting survey. I have read ebooks from Project Gutenberg on my computer and IPhone, but i still prefer paper. I love going to the bookstore too much.

  8. things i wanted to say is i really need some rest and that this website is starting to sound good

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