September 08, 2012
Electronic Book Readers Increase Reading?

At a presentation Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made for a new line of Kindles an interesting claim was made: electronic book reader devices are causing a surge in reading.

11:09 AM: Stats of post-Kindle world: People are reading more, according to Amazon. 2.5 times as much in 2008. In 2009, 3.5x. 4.21x in 2010. 4.62 in 2011.

Is that true? I can that it at least close to true for me. I buy a lot more books when I can get them instantly and no longer have to worry about full bookshelves. I have a Kindle DX. That is far from the cutting edge tablets. But I love the low power consumption and eInk readability. The internet makes it easy to come across reviews and recommendations for books. So I come across more worthy candidates for reading.

However, the internet boosted my online reading even more than it boosted my book reading. Online web pages compete (rather effectively) for my attention against books. My reading of articles has increased relative to my reading of books

So I'm wondering: As the internet has gotten bigger and electronic book reading devices have become cheaper and more powerful what has happened to your absolute total amount of reading and the relative split between books and non-book reading materials?

Also, when you buy books now are you more or less likely to read them than, say, 10 years ago? I'm not sure what the answer is for me.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2012 September 08 11:11 PM  Comm Tech Gadgets


Comments
David Friedman said at September 9, 2012 1:22 PM:

My total reading has gone up, my reading of books has gone down.

Randall Parker said at September 9, 2012 2:58 PM:

David,

Did your total reading go up and book reading go down before the ebook readers became cheap and powerful? Have ebook readers done anything to partially reverse your decline in book reading?

My own experience is that, yes, ebook readers caused by book reading to go back up again, though not back to the pre-internet level.

PacRim Jim said at September 9, 2012 4:18 PM:

I write e-books and must mention one advantage thereof:
Since version cycling is extremely easy, when a reader points out a typo or a factual error, it can be corrected almost in real time.
The e-book is in effect a crowd-sourced publication.
(However, I do miss the tactile pleasure of holding a book.)

Wolf-Dog said at September 10, 2012 12:02 AM:

Until recently E-book reading was not very serious because the screen resolution, readability, storage, etc, were conspiring against practicality. But it's only a matter of time until the quality of the electronic readers reach the level to compete with the quality of traditional books.

When more textbooks area available for Kindle, this will become the culture of students, and it will increase reading. So far the highest caliber textbooks are still not available in electronic format.

marina said at February 28, 2013 1:36 AM:

As the internet has gotten bigger and electronic book reading devices have become cheaper and more powerful what has happened to your absolute read more total amount of reading and the relative split between books and non-book reading materials?

mario said at March 11, 2013 12:53 PM:

That is far from the cutting edge tablets. But I love the low power consumption and eInk readability. The internet makes it easy to come across reviews and recommendations post forwarding australia for books. So I come across more worthy candidates for reading.

mario said at March 11, 2013 12:58 PM:

The internet boosted my online reading even more than it boosted my book reading. Online web pages compete (rather effectively) for my attention against books. My reading clik here of articles has increased relative to my reading of books

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