December 27, 2012, 4:55 PM

More shoppers are reading e-books

23% of U.S. consumers have read an e-book within the past year, Pew says.

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23% of U.S. consumers age 16 and over read an e-book within the past year, up from 16% a year ago, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project says in a new report. The share of people who had read a print book, meanwhile, declined to 67% from 72%.

The study found that the trend toward increased e-book reading coincided with more shoppers owning e-book readers and tablet computers. The number of people who owned either a tablet computer or a dedicated e-book reader such as Inc.’s Kindle or Nook Media LLC’s Nook grew from 18% in late 2011 to 33% in late 2012, Pew says. The study is based on survey of 2,252 U.S. residents aged 16 and over conducted between Oct. 15 and Nov. 10, 2012.

Pew also found that, as of November, 25% of survey respondents owned tablet computers, up from 10% a year earlier, and that 19% owned an e-book reading device like a Kindle or Nook, up from 10% a year earlier.

Among respondents who read at least one book (either print or e-book) in the past year, the study noted the following percentages of people by age and by annual household income who had read at least one e-book in the prior 12 months as of November 2012 and as of December 2011:

● age 16-17, 28%, 13%

● age 18-29, 31%, 25%

● age 30-49, 41%, 25%

● age 50-64, 23%, 19%

● age 65+, 20%, 12%

● less than $30,000, 19%, 14%

● $30,000 - $49,999, 28%, 18%

● $50,000 - $74,999, 38%, 24%

● $75,000+, 44%, 34% is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500; Barnes & Noble is No. 32.

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