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TOMORROW'S WORLD
01 Mar 2011
E-READERS GROWING IN POPULARITY AS PUBLISHERS PREDICT THE YEAR OF THE E-BOOK

The growth of electronic books is closing the technology age gap as more over-55s turn to Apple iPads and Amazon Kindles instead of the familiar paperback.

While so-called ‘silver surfers’ are often thought to be more cautious about new technology than younger people, new research shows that, where e-books are concerned, they are every bit as keen.

Six per cent of over-55s own an e-book reader, compared with five per cent of those aged 18-24, according to a survey by Silver Poll. Of those who own an e-book reader, almost half (47 per cent) went for the Amazon Kindle, 31 per cent chose Apple’s iPad and 14 per cent preferred the Sony Reader.

William Higham, Silver Poll’s managing director, said: “The over-50s are a vital part of any publisher’s audience. They are typically heavy book readers, and up until now they were staunchly traditional in their attitudes to reading. But these new figures show that they are beginning to embrace the electronic book.”

E-book sales have increased enormously over the last year, particularly in the US where an estimated 15 per cent of all book sales are e-books.

Bloomsbury, the publisher of the Harry Potter books, said its e-book sales grew 18-fold in 2010. Digital books now account for 10 per cent of Bloomsbury sales as more customers download books to their e-readers. The group believes Britain is gaining the kind of momentum seen in the US. The trend was highlighted by the success of the 2010 Man Booker Prize winner, Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question: 42 per cent of that book’s US sales in its first month were electronic books.

Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk

 

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