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Nearly 1 in 10 using e-readers, poll says

Eight percent of U.S. consumers are now using e-readers and another 12 percent expect to buy one in the next six months, according to a Harris poll.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Eight percent of American adults now use e-readers and another 12 percent expect to buy one in the next six months, according to a new Harris Interactive poll.

Consumers looking for e-readers have a wide choice of devices, including the iPad, the Nook, and the Kindle. Sarah Tew/CNET

Among the e-reading adults surveyed by Harris, 36 percent say they read 11 to 20 books a year, and 26 percent read 21 or more books each year. That compares with 40 percent of all Americans who say they read 11 to 20 books annually, and 19 percent who read 21 or more in a typical year.

Those who own e-readers are more likely to buy a book, though. Among the e-reader users polled, 17 percent said they bought between 11 and 20 e-books, while 20 percent purchased 21 or more over the past year. By contrast, 11 percent of all Americans bought between 11 and 20 books last year, while 12 percent bought more than 21.

Only 8 percent of the e-reader audience said they bought no books this past year, compared with 21 percent of people in general who acknowledged the same.

Is there a temptation for e-reader owners to download more books than they actually read? Not according to the poll. Among those who use e-readers, 53 percent said they read more now than they did six months ago, compared with 18 percent of those who don't own an e-reader.

Among people who don't yet own an e-reader, 12 percent said they are likely to buy one in the next six months. Another 80 percent said they are not likely, and 8 percent aren't sure. The Harris poll didn't delve into which specific devices people have bought or are interested in buying--options include Sony's Readers, Amazon's Kindles, Barnes & Noble's Nook, and the Kobo eReader, as well as the Apple iPad.

An In-Stat survey from a year ago also noted that e-readers are owned by a small niche of the book-reading public, while a Forrester report last fall found that people considered e-readers too expensive.

To compile its results, Harris Interactive surveyed 2,775 adults online between August 9 and 16.

See also: Kindle vs. Nook vs. iPad: Which e-book reader should you buy?