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Study shows tablets continue to overtake e-readers

Posted By Susan Lulgjuraj On April 8, 2013 @ 12:00 pm In ebook,Tablet | 7 Comments

tablets [1]My e-reader sits on the bookshelf, dust growing on it every day. My Nook Simple Touch used to be one of my favorite gadgets—I carried it everywhere, even just to sneak a couple of pages here and there.

I’ve replaced my e-reader with a tablet. I ordered a Nexus 7 last July (a birthday present) when the first batch was ready to hit the market. I use it to surf the ‘net, check Facebook and Twitter, play games and, of course, read.

I’m definitely not the only one.

tablets [2]The Book Industry Study Group [3] recently released information from the Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading survey by Bowker Market Research.

“Results from the first installment in Volume Four of the survey show 44 percent of e-book readers prefer a tablet, up from 37 percent in the August 2012 survey,” according to BISG. And it doesn’t seem the trend will be stopping anytime soon.

“Like so many other changes in e-book consumption, the move toward tablets developed very rapidly,” said BISG deputy executive director Angela Bole, in a release. “This ongoing survey provides an opportunity for companies in the book business to stay ahead of these trends as they emerge.”

This result is certainly not surprising, especially to me. The fact that I can do everything on my tablet has essentially turned my e-reader into a brick at this point. The biggest difference is that with the Nook Simple Touch, I needed a light to read anything. So, if I was reading before bed, I’d have a lamp on the nightstand on, or a small reading light.

With my Nexus 7, the backlight made it easy to use. I also never had issues reading outdoors with the backlit device.

This information is important to retailers as it shows a growing trend. Companies may want to reconsider making devices that do just one thing. By reading on my Nook, I couldn’t check email or answer instant messages from co-workers and friends.

My tablet is used for more than reading, but has also become a lifeline for work as I can easily check my messages.

This could be just one of the many reasons tablets are becoming more popular, and e-readers continue collecting dust.


7 Comments (Open | Close)

7 Comments To "Study shows tablets continue to overtake e-readers"

#1 Comment By Alexander Inglis On April 8, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

I am very happy with the Google Nexus 7 tablet as a multi-purpose ereader. It gives me Kobo, Kindle and Overdrive content all in one place. It gives me quick access to Google Drive personal content. While this is also true of a 10″ tablet, they are less satisfactory for ereading unless the content is pdf format.

But I still use, more than half the time, the Kobo Glo for ereading. I have more control over the look-and-feel of the ebooks, the device is lighter and I don’t need to worry whether it is fully charged or not. and it works well at night as well as in bright sunlight.

I believe for the dedicated reader, both devices complement each other well.

#2 Comment By Bree On April 8, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

Basically, what Alexander said, but switch the devices to an iPad 2 and a Sony Reader T2. I’ve had the iPad for just shy of two years. It took about 10 months for the honeymoon to be over, but since then, I’ve gone back to doing most of my reading on the Sony.

Short stories, novellas, children’s books and illustrated nonfiction still get read on the iPad.

And of course, all the web browsing, eBaying, Facebooking and video-watching on the iPad have cut into my reading time :P

#3 Comment By Susan Lulgjuraj On April 8, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

That’s one thing I love about the Nexus 7 too – I have all the apps in one place. With the Nook, unless I sideload stuff, I can only get B&N books. With the tablet I have access to everything I need.

Candy Crush rules my life these days, though. :)

#4 Comment By Gary On April 8, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

Fortunately, once a book has been made available in a digital format, choosing which device to read it on becomes relatively trivial, and will be even easier in the future. I don’t really think that it matters too much which device is more popular and which is less popular

I could easily afford a tablet, but I simply don’t want one. I am very happy with my Sony reader. If and when that device breaks, I will replace it with another dedicated ebook reader. The only thing that could change that position is if a new type of story telling is developed that 1) is more attractive to me than the current book type of story, and that 2) requires more computing power than can be squeezed into a dedicated reader.

Even if the overwhelming majority of customers comes to prefer tablets, there will still be enough of a market to support a line of dedicated reader devices.

And in any case, with the rate at which digital technology develops some new device may be developed in a couple of years that becomes even more popular than both tablet computers and dedicated ebook readers.

#5 Comment By Julius On April 9, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

Still like my NOOK Simple touch. It’s the “simple” part that keeps me happy. I like reading and only reading when it comes time to sit with a book. iPhone does the rest, so a tablet would be a redundant toy. But for as close and personal experience as possible there is nothing like an EReader… better in full sunlight, easy on the eyes, light weight and more intimate. Tablets are great, I agree, but often just not necessary.

Then again I also like audio books when well read. They too can be intimate and wonderful. Just close your eyes and listen, a great experience with the right book.

#6 Comment By salyavn On April 10, 2013 @ 11:48 am

Readers still have better battery life which is especially important to me on international flights. For the average person or around the house I expect tablets to dominate. I still love my Sony Reader for now.

#7 Comment By Argos On April 10, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

“By reading on my Nook, I couldn’t check email or answer instant messages from co-workers and friends.”

Yeah, because that is what I desperately want to do when I am reading my favorite books. I want to kill the immersion and the pleasure of reading by constantly checking email and receiving and responding to mostly meaningless instant messages. That is indeed a wonderful and desirable book reading experience. :/

I am sure that is indeed the manner in which common book consumers like to read books.
I am definitely not one of them.


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[3] Book Industry Study Group: http://www.bisg.org/news-5-827-press-release-as-e-book-market-evolves-correlation-between-genre-preference-and-device-selection-is-revealed-says-new-bisg-study.php

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