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E-book readers are buying plenty – but not in bookstores

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(Read caption) Fiction readers are gravitating toward Kindles and Nooks, while nonfiction readers tend to prefer tablet readers like iPads.

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We’ve known it all along: E-book readers are buying and reading more, according to a study by the Book Industry Study Group.

What’s interesting, though, is where they’re buying and what they’re reading. According to the BISG’s Consumer Attitudes Toward E-book Reading survey, e-book consumers are buying more books – both print and electronic – but they’re buying mostly online and via in-app purchasing. Where they’re not buying, according to the survey, is brick-and-mortar stores. More than half of e-book readers increased their use of apps to purchase books and more than one-third increased their use of general retail websites such as, according to a BISG statement. Sadly, that seems to come at the expense of chain and indie bookstores. According to the survey, more than a third of e-book buyers decreased their spending at national chains and 29 percent reported buying less from their local indie.

"The e-book market is developing very quickly, with consumer attitudes and behavior changing over the course of months, rather than years,” said Angela Bole, BISG's Deputy Executive Director, in a statement. “One of the strengths of this study is its ability to monitor 'Power Buyers.' They are predictors of where the market is moving, providing us with an ideal opportunity to look at what's coming next.”

Since e-readers are still a relatively new force in the publishing industry, understanding the trends surrounding e-reading – which devices readers prefer, how they’re purchasing and how much, what they’re reading – helps publishers, marketers, and retailers understand the new market and its potential.


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