18 July 2012

Crime fiction readers are voracious e-book consumers

Last month in my post e-books holding steady I commented that about 75% of readers of my blog read e-books in one form or another (on an e-reader, their iPad, or computer). This figure has been pretty consistent for the last 12 months.

The poll I have been conducting for the past few weeks mines a bit deeper and has a few more respondents.
Again the significant statistic is around 75%.
24% of the respondents have bought no e-books, so presumably most of them have either not purchased an e-reader or have abandoned using it.

But a whopping 64% have purchased more than 5 e-books in the last 6 months, with some commenting that they were surprised the poll hadn't "tested" more than 5.  (the post connected to the poll is here)

I read about 1 e-book in every 2 books.
Others confessed
  • "I am totally hooked to my Kindle. While it was a slow conversion (about 4 years) I just recently have read solely off my Kindle."
  • "I probably purchased more than five each month. I am an e-book-aholic. In fact, I don't buy any paper books anymore."
  • "I may have already told you that I read my ebooks only at bedtime for ease of holding." (although this person says she still buys more paper books than e-books)
  • "I was surprised that your survey only went up to five. I would say I have read 30-50 ebooks in the last six months"
  • " I try not to buy any paper book if it's available in electronic format."
  • "I generally alternate, a print book then an ebook, its just the way my schedule works."
So why are we (crime fiction readers) so hooked on e-books?

Let's start with Joe Barone's list (see comments in the poll here)
  • (1) Availability. I can download them in two minutes or so; 
  • (2) The opportunity to enlarge the type. I have regular old people's eyes with growing cataracts which don't yet need surgery. Easily making the type larger is a real blessing; and 
  • (3) Affordability. I buy few ebooks that cost more than $9.99.
then he contributed
  • They make books available which might not otherwise be available.
Nan contributed on the weight issue
  • I read my ebooks only at bedtime for ease of holding
So here are some of mine (some of them may be just applicable to the Kindle)
  • ease of instant purchase: I buy my e-book online and I have it on my Kindle only minutes later.
  • if I want to re-read a book, my Amazon library is always available. (although I think taking an occasional backup of the files on your Kindle may be a good idea)
  • when travelling I can take my library of several hundred books with me.
  • but I don't have to be travelling: my Kindle fits beautifully into my shoulder bag for use in the doctor's surgery etc.
  • or I can read on the app on my mobile phone (although it does drain the battery big-time, nor would it be my preferred method of reading)
  • people who want me to review a book can send me a Kindle file as an e-mail attachment. That's much much cheaper than postage to Australia.
  • Like many of my friends who have e-readers I am convinced that I read e-books faster, probably because, like Joe, I am appreciative of the option to re-size the text.
  • I often mark text that I wish to remember for any review I write. On the Kindle I can download those highlighted bits to my computer as a text file.
  • I can put the books on my Kindle into categories and it helps me choose what to read next)
  • I can synchronise my e-reading across my Kindle, phone app, and husband's iPad, and move "seamlessly" from one to the other, picking up the book on one device where I left it on the other device.
  • I can listen to my e-book if I want to - most Kindle books have text to audio. Admittedly it is a computerised voice, but I can also attach it to a speaker system so I can listen while ironing etc.
So what have I left out?
Oh yes, I'm hooked.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting, Kerrie! I'm not surprised at your findings either. E-books allow a lot of flexibility as you point out. And recently a lot of the classic mystery backlist and other crime fiction too is being re-issued for e-readers. What's not to like?

Marina Sofia said...

I have to admit I do prefer paperbacks - I just seem to be able to remember and find things quicker on a physical page than an electronic one (despite all of its skip and find facilities). But I am using my husband's Kindle quite regularly to read books for reviews - it's just so much quicker and easier to have them sent to me. I think publishers prefer sending it in this format too.

Dorte H said...

I have more or less ´solved´ my TBR problem lately by only buying e-books. I will probably buy second-hand books from Britain again in the future, but for months I have stuck to e-books, meaning my shelf problem has not accelerated at least :)

Maxine Clarke said...

Interesting stats. As usual, I depart from the crowd in finding it more of a duty than a pleasure to read books in e-format. It is useful sometimes, and some books aren't available in print formats (in my region) but I would always prefer a print book given a free choice. I download/read about 1 ebook a month but then I read more than 10 times as many per month in print format.

Unknown said...

Here's why I buy e-books. I live in Mexico where the availability of English books are... well, nil. For me to buy a new paperback crime fiction novel, I need to go to the US border (2 hours away) and shop. I can't do that whenever I want. So, with my Kindle, I can go on-line, pick a book and in one minute, be reading. What's not to like about my Kindle?


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