How Readers Embrace Electronic Books

Bain & Company: a study on reading in the digital era

The original title of this exceptionally interesting study by Bain & Company is “Publishing in the Digital Era”, but there is so much useful information about readers and reading here, that I think it’s worth stressing it in a post’s title.

The study shows the pace of digital content adoption, the split between devices, age groups and even literature genres.

A graph worth discussing is the one listing major barriers to e-book adoption. What’s on top of a list? We all know it very well: readers don’t want to abandon the paper experience. Two next reasons (the cost of devices and the screen experience) in my opinion serve for many people as an excuse of this overwhelming paper affection.

The big surprise comes next: one-third of respondents never thought about reaching for an electronic book so far. It means we must try harder to find better, more convincing ways to engage readers in digital content.

By 2015, on average (USA, France, South Korea) e-book market share will reach 20%, based on volume – 5 times bigger than last year. In US it could be much more, having in mind unpredictable power of self-publishing.

It’s also worth stressing that less than 7% of e-book readers stated they have read fewer books than before.

I miss China in the study. I think this is the country to lead the mass transformation of a book from print to digital form. Last year’s study study shows that as much as 91% of Chinese people would not buy a print book if there was a digital version available.

The full presentation is embedded below. Check also the infographic based on it.

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