New York - The popularity of electronic books is increasing in the US, with nearly one-quarter of American bibliophiles reading e-books, according to a survey released on Thursday.
The number of e-readers aged 16 years and older jumped from 16% in 2011 to 23% this year, while print readers fell from 72 to 67% in 2012, in a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.
"The move toward e-book reading coincides with an increase in ownership of electronic book reading devices," the organization said. Its report analysed reading trends among the 75% of Americans who read at least one book in the last year.
"In all, the number of owners of either a tablet computer or e-book reading device ... grew from 18% in late 2011 to 33% in 2012."
e-Book owners increased from 4% in May 2010 to 19% in November 2012, while people with tablets jumped from 3% to 25% during the same period, according to the report.
People most likely to read e-books are well-educated, 30- to 49-year-olds who live in households earning $75,000 or more.
More women, 81%, read books, compared to 70% of men, and the number of readers decline as people age. The trend toward e-books impacted libraries, which stocked and loaned more e-books.
"The share of recent library users who have borrowed an e-book from a library has increased from 3% last year to 5% this year," according to Pew.
Even awareness that libraries stock e-books has grown, from 24% late last year to 31% now.
The findings were based on a telephone survey of 2 252 people, aged 16 years and older, across the US and a similar poll the year before. It had a 2.7% margin of error.