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Number of Americans reading digitally increases

Nearly a quarter of Americans have read at least one e-book over the past year, with the number of Americans reading printed books falling over the same period.

According to new research from Pew Research Center and American Life, the number of Americans aged 16 and over who have read e-books over the past 12 months grew from 16% last year to 23% at the end of this year. Over the same period, the number of those who read printed books fell from 72% to 67%.

In November 2012, the research states, 75% of the population aged 16 and over had read a book in the past 12 months, compared to 78% in December 2011. Of the 75%, 89% had read a printed book. Thirty per cent said that they had read an e-book, and 17% said they had listened to an audio book. Overall, all the book readers consumed an average of 15 books in the previous 12 months.

As of November 2012, the research shows, 25% of Americans aged 16 and older own tablet computers, up from 10% at the end of 2011. The number of people owning either a tablet or an e-reading device was up to 33% this year, a big leap from 18% in late 2011. The research shows that 19% of Americans aged 16 and older own e-book reading devices such as Kindles and Nooks, compared with 10% who owned such devices at the end of last year.

Meanwhile, the research showed that 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.