Screen shot 2011 06 20 at 9 45 59 AM

From Shelf Awareness:

There is a significant difference in usage patterns between owners of dedicated e-readers and tablets, Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis said during a panel held at the Financial Times Digital Media Conference in London last week, as reported by TabTimes.

“The people buying these devices (e-readers) are reading more frequently than those with tablets,” Serbinis observed. “They read for longer sessions and are more committed. We definitely see tablets as for casual readers. These readers are reading a book every other month, which is a lot less than the average for those using e-readers. Some romance readers are reading up to 30 books a month.”



  1. Nonsense – I (and my friends & relatives) read constantly on our various tablets. I personally read 15 to 20 books a month on my tablet. Perhaps Mr. Serbinis’s view is influenced by the fact that his company (Kobo) does not produce a tablet. It would be interesting to know if his conclusions are based on studies (with details please) or are just his personal opinion.

  2. @John Jones: The Kobo Vox tablet debuted in November of 2011.

    Personally, I find reading on LCD computer and tablet screens to be tiring on my eyes and much prefer the reading experience of a smaller, lighter-weight e-ink reading device. But I know plenty of people who like reading on their iPads and they seem content enough with it to not need an e-ink device.

    One thing Mr. Serbinis may be getting at is the cost of a tablet versus an e-ink device. I have my computer for playing music and games and a television and DVD player for watching movies, so I’m not likely to spend $300+ on a tablet just to read books. That seems rather expensive.

  3. I keep seeing this “revelation” in various blogs and articles, and I’m tired of it and want it to go away. It is true that I use my tablet for more than reading. It’s not true that I’m a casual reader. I read for hours on my tablet, and I read probably 10-15 books a month (when I’m busy–more when I’m on vacation).

  4. These surveys are not worth the paper being used up to print them. They are based on small numbers, self selecting participants and dubious questionnaires. The results are utter trash.

    I agree that e-ink is easier to read than tablets/phones. However the marginal difference is not hugely significant imho. I read in a white/grey on black format. I read for more than an hour at a time and never feel my eyes to be tired.

    The driver behind who buys and who SHOULD buy these devices is what they want OUT of their devices. Those people that have no need for a tablet should get an eReader, clearly. Those who need and want a tablet can easily then use that tablet for dual purposes. Serbinis is talking through his hat.

  5. I read 25+ books per month on my tablet. I have never been tempted to buy an eReader just for reading – looking at the continuous number of complaints and lack of customer service from Kobo certainly wouldn’t encourage me to buy any of the Kobo devices!

  6. Just because your own experience doesn’t mirror what Serbinis states, doesn’t mean he’s wrong. In fact, he’s likely to be right.

    Kobo has been selling ereaders for two years, and reading apps for tablets (iPad, Android, Blackberry) for two years … and now sells its own colour ereader/Android tablet. One of the hallmarks of the Kobo platform is the ability to track your reading habits. By this time, Kobo has deep knowledge of how users, in aggregate, behave on various platforms.

  7. I read daily on my tablet. Yes it is larger then a dedicated e-reader, but I have no issues with the fonts or colors. I went into multiple stores to compare readers and tablets in size and feel. I finally decided on a samsung galaxy tab and am 1000% glad I did. I can use kindle to read, while also having multiple other functions available at a simple press of a button. I read at least 2-3 hours a night before bed, plus I have the options to surf/email/work with it by connecting it to my phone while I am out and about. I think it is entirely on the users preference, and I don’t think either is a better option/choice.

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