More over-50s own e-readers than youngsters

More over-50s own e-readers than youngsters

More people aged over 55 own e-readers than the younger generation, according to a new study on digital reading habits.

Data released by research company OnePoll shows 6% of readers in the over-55 category–equivalent to 500,000 people–own a digital device to consume literature in comparison to just 5% of those aged 18–24.

Another 18% of the over-55's surveyed said they plan to invest in an e-reader in the next 12 months.

William Higham, managing director of OnePoll, said: "The over-50s are a vital part of any publisher's audience. They are typically heavy book-readers and until now they were staunchly traditional in their attitudes to reading. But these new figures show they are beginning to embrace electronic books."

The results also revealed that 95% of people in the older age category use the internet for shopping, with books ranking as the most popular purchase.

Of those surveyed, 62% of the over-50s, dubbed "silver surfers", shop online for books, in comparison to 61% who purchase online holidays and 52% who look out for DVDs.

Of the digital devices most popular among older readers, Amazon's Kindle came out top with 47% of those surveyed claiming it was the best, while 31% preferred Apple's iPad and 14% rated the Sony Reader.

The survey covered 2,000 people aged 50 and over in OnePoll's SilverPoll research panel.