The test, available to verified Google Plus accounts, adds a social element to search results.
A Harris survey, however, finds that few U.S. consumers own the devices.
Few Americans use electronic reading devices, but those consumers who have embraced digital reading tend to read more often than when their eyes were gliding over printed pages, suggest survey data from Harris Interactive Inc., a market research firm.
Harris based its findings on an online survey of 2,775 adults conducted from Aug. 9 to Aug. 16.
8% of consumers said they use e-readers. Of those respondents, 62% said they read at least 11 books a year, compared with 59% of consumers without the devices. When asked how their reading habits had changed over the past six months, 53% of respondents with e-readers reported they read more than they did previously, but only 18% of consumers without the devices said the same.
“One of the criticisms of e-readers is that people who have them may download more books than they would traditionally purchase, but read at the same levels,” the Harris report says. “So far, this criticism is not holding true.”
Consumers with electronic reading devices, however, are more likely to buy books than are other consumers, the survey suggests. While 21% of consumers without e-readers say they have not bought books within the past year, only 8% of consumers with the devices reported the same.
For consumers without e-readers, 12% reported they likely will buy one within six months. 59%, however, said they have no plans to buy an e-reading device. Consumers in the western and eastern parts of the United States are more likely to buy the devices than consumers in the Midwest, Harris says.