Published: June 19, 2013

Just over a quarter of Americans currently buy eBooks and nearly half plan to do so in a year’s time. Does this mean that the days of paper are over?

The survey of 6,000 American adults was conducted by the free eBook service Bookboon. It found that 27.1% of Americans currently buy eBooks and 22.7% expect to within a year. This means that by 2014, about half of Americans will be buying eBooks.

This survey, conducted online and in person, echoes other surveys that found:

  • One-quarter of U.S. adults are reading eBooks.
  • One in six U.S. adults owns an eReader.
  • Nearly one-third of U.S. adults own a tablet.

The power of eBooks shows up in financial figures, too. In 2010, Amazon announced that eBooks were outselling hardcovers in number of books. In 2011, eBooks made nearly $100 million dollars in profit. The next year, in 2012, this number more than doubled, while the entire global industry is reported to have garnered $854 million. The forecast is that 2013 will more than quadruple the 2011 profits, and in 2015, Amazon is expected to earn a net profit of $1 billion in eBook sales alone. It adds up to this: eBooks are gaining ground fast. Yet most adults still read books on paper. In this new world, you can’t ignore the electronic format, but you can’t forget the printed format either.

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