More gadgets, more reading: Survey suggests e-reader and tablet owners read more books

A new survey from USA Today and book discovery website Bookish finds that U.S. adults who own a tablet or e-reader read more books than the device-less. The survey also found differences in reading habits between adults under 40 and adults over 40.

USA Today Bookish survey

The survey polled 1,000 adults nationwide and an additional 819 adults who own an e-reader or tablet. Overall, it found that 40 percent of adults — and 46 percent of those between 18 and 39 — owned a tablet or e-reader, “doubling the numbers from less than two years ago.”

Thirty-five percent of those who owned a device said they read more since getting it. Of the device owners, those ages 18-39 had read an average of 21 books in the past year, while respondents ages 40 and over had read an average of 16 books in the past year.

Those who didn’t own a device read fewer books: The 18- to 39-year-old group read an average of 13 books in the past year, and the 40-and-over crowd read an average of 11 books.

The USA Today survey also found that device owners have started reading more from certain genres since acquiring their device: 23 percent say they read more science fiction and fantasy, 16 percent said they read more mystery and crime, and 14 percent said they read more romance. Those genres sell particularly well in digital formats, and ebook discounts and sales on sites like Amazon (s AMZN) often focus on those genres.

USA Today’s survey is generally in line with previous surveys showing that device owners read more.

The survey was conducted in August via phone by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

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