Number of Americans reading e-books doubles

The number of Americans using an e-book reader has almost doubled during the last 12 months, according to a new survey.

The Harris Poll also revealed one in six Americans who do not have an e-reader intend to buy one during the next six months. This may be welcomed by publishers as e-reader owners are reading more books, according to the survey. Overall, 16% of Americans read between 11 and 20 books per year with 20% reading more than 21. However, a third of those who own a Kindle, Nook or other device read 11-20 books a year with 27% reading more than 21. E-reader owners are also more likely to buy books, with 17% purchasing between 11 and 20 and 17% buying more than 21 over 12 months.

The top genres among e-book owners are crime and thriller (47%), science fiction (25%), literature (23%) and romance (23%). In non-fiction, biography is most popular (29%), then history (27%) and religion and spirituality (24%).

Harris surveyed 2,183 people during a week in July 2011. It found 8% of adults used an e-book reader 12 months ago, compared to 15% now.

The report said: "There will always be a place for books in hard cover or paperback. But there must also be a place for reading devices as well. Readers are quickly catching on to this wave as have the booksellers.

"This is a huge transition time for publishing companies and how they adapt will determine who is still standing 10 years from now."