Data Monday: E-reading E-books

by Luke Wroblewski April 8, 2012

Last year, I took at look at the growth of e-readers (many equipped with Web browsers) and e-books. Less than 12 months later, it's clear digital books are taking over.

  • In January 2011, publishers sold 3.9 million children’s and young adults e-books. One year later, that monthly sales figure is up to 22.6 million. (source)
  • Adult book sales also grew from 66.6 million e-books sold in January 2011 to 99.5 million sold in January 2012. (source)
  • This past January, paperbacks outsold e-books by less than 6 million units; if e-book market growth continues, it will have far outpaced paperbacks to become the number-one category for U.S. publishers. (source)
  • In mid-December 2011, 17% of American adults had reported they read an e-book in the previous year; by February, 2012, the share increased to 21%. (source)
  • Ownership of e-book readers like the original Kindle and Nook jumped from 10% in December to 19% in January and ownership of tablet computers such as iPads and Kindle Fires increased from 10% in mid-December to 19% in January. (source)
  • 29% of Americans age 18 and older own at least one specialized device for e-book reading – either a tablet or an e-book reader. (source)
  • 30% of those who read e-content say they now spend more time reading, and owners of tablets and e-book readers particularly stand out as reading more now. (source)
  • 29% of readers of e-books consume their books on their cell phones. 23% of readers of e-books consume their books on a tablet computer. (source)
  • Amazon has sold over two million Kindle Singles: e-books that are shorter than full-length books but longer than most magazine articles. (source)