E-books and e-readers are increasing the amount of reading that is going on. People who get a Kindle are reading more than they used to, including reading books that aren’t electronic.
A fifth of American adults have read an electronic version of a book in the last year, a trend that is fueling a renewed love of reading, according to a new survey.
The portion of e-book readers among all American adults has increased to 21 percent from 17 percent between December and February, due in large part to a boom in tablet and e-reader sales this past holiday season.
All those devices are turning some consumers into super readers, according to a survey released Thursday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. E-book readers plowed through an average of 24 titles in the past year, compared with an average of 15 for readers of physical books.
“Those who have taken the plunge into reading e-books stand out in almost every way from other kinds of readers . . . They are avid readers of books in all formats,” said Lee Rainie, director of research at Pew.
Curiously, e-reading somehow sparks a love of books in any format. Even as e-readers are downloading books on computers, tablets and smartphones, they are also checking out more books at libraries and buying more at bookstores and online. About nine in 10 e-book readers said they have also read printed books in the past year, Pew reported in its survey of about 3,000 people 16 and older.
I find that happening with me. I read a lot, of course, as a literature teacher and someone who wants to keep up with things. But ever since my wife gave me a Kindle–which as an old-school print guy I was skeptical of at first– I find myself reading much more for fun (bringing back pleasures that got me into the literature profession in the first place). I can crank up the type-size so that I can read on the treadmill (which re-enforces that good habit I’m trying to cultivate) and instead of aimless surfing on the computer or watching television, I am now reading novels. Also books don’t cost as much when you download them, further liberating my reading impulses.
What I’m enjoying is not novels of ambitious literary merit–that’s more like work–but books that give me an interesting imaginative experience. They have to be well-written with a certain measure of complexity, otherwise they can’t hold my attention, so genre fiction and bestseller fare doesn’t always do it for me. But I’ve found some gems that I think I’ll be blogging about.
By the way, with my Kindle I’ve signed up for Amazon Prime, giving me the ability to “check out” books from Amazon’s virtual library for free. Unfortunately, the pickings seem pretty slim. I did find a couple of excellent reads: Moneyball and Hunger Games. (More on the latter later.) If anyone has found other good books in that library–ones that meet my criteria–I’d be glad to learn about them.
Anyway, if you have broken down and bought an e-reader, has this “kindled” your reading?