While E-Books Gained in Popularity in 2013, Print Remains King

While E-Books Gained in Popularity in 2013, Print Remains King

The year 2013 saw 69% of Americans reading a book in its “standard” printed form, 28% reading an e-book, and 14% listened to an audiobook. While e-books continue to grow in popularity, print books remain king. These latest figures come from Pew‘s ongoing Internet & American Life survey.

Note: The "2014" reference in the chart is a typo on Pew's part. It should read "2013".
Note: The “2014” reference in the chart is a typo on Pew’s part. It should read “2013”.


Most people who read e-books also read print books, and only 4 percent of readers were “e-book only” in 2013.

E-books continue to become available on more devices in addition to e-readers, and as such, their use is expected to continue growing. The increased ownership of e-readers, smartphones, and tablets will contribute to the growth.

The study found that audiobook listeners had the most diverse reading habits, while print readers showed less of a tendency to try out other formats. 76% of adults read a book in one format or the other in 2013.

The median number of books read in 2013 by participants in the survey was five. This meant half of participants had read more than five books, while half had read fewer than five.

The Pew study was conducted between 1/2/14 and 1/5/14, and surveyed 1,005 Americans aged 18 or older. The entire 20-page report is available at the Pew Research Center website (PDF).

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