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What's Up Magazine

eBooks Increasing in Popularity

Jul 21, 2011 04:27PM ● By Anonymous

(July 18, 2011 Chester, Maryland) Reading group members nationwide are increasingly choosing eBooks and eReaders over traditional print books, according to a survey by Reading Group Choices (RGC) a leading online resource for book clubs and a recognized authority on discussible selections. The 2011 Reading Group Survey was conducted on their website ( and in a physical mailing from January 1, 2011-March 25, 2011. Thousands of reading groups representing over 200,000 readers were surveyed to ascertain the growth and popularity of eBooks and eReaders.  Results of the survey show that 25% of reading group members are using eBooks; this is an increase of 10 percentage points from 2009. RGC Owner and Book Club Expert, Barbara Mead, says her subscribers have expressed enthusiasm about incorporating eBooks into the mix. “The use of eBooks in concert with printed books only serves to reaffirm book clubs’ passion for literature.  And eReaders are a great investment for avid readers who are consuming books well in excess of their reading group selections or for book club members with a dwindling amount of free shelf-space.”  Daily commuters on public transit will also appreciate the light weight and easy storage of their e-books, and many readers may enjoy being able to keep their reading choices private even on a crowded subway. eBooks Rapidly Increasing in Popularity Among Reading Groups Nationwide (cont.)Among reading group members using eBooks, most eBooks were read on the Amazon Kindle (59%), with the Barnes & Noble Nook now in second place at 26%.  The Nook is rapidly catching up, however---up from just 7% in 2009. Usage of tablet computers as eReaders exploded last year. RGC's survey shows almost 20% of reading group members who read eBooks used a tablet! Data was developed from 2009 and 2010 reading group surveys by RGC surveying thousands of reading groups representing well over 200,000 reading group members.  “The use of eReaders--at least in combination with printed books--is inevitable, as they provide a number of advantages for the 21st Century multitasking lifestyle and culture. Though nothing will take away from the physical community of book clubs, the features of an eReader are endless, particularly from the social integration standpoint,“ Mead acknowledges.Printed-Books Still King with Reading GroupsDespite the growing popularity of eBooks and eReaders, the vast majority of reading groups still prefer the printed book. Only 21% of those surveyed by RGC reported reading all, or even most, of their books on eReaders.  Currently, romance fiction is the genre most frequently read in eBook format (60% of all titles purchased in eBook format.)  “Some book groups don’t find this genre as discussible as literary fiction or memoirs, for example, so I’m curious to find out more from our book clubs,” Mead says. She intends to ask her subscribers about this and other trends in coming weeks and months. New technology has made eBook screens as easy to read as their traditional counterparts. Browsing, buying, and downloading eBooks is fast, easy, and inexpensive.  However Mead warns, “One disadvantage – although the selection of eBooks is enormous, many of the publishers’ backlists are still not available in the digital format accessible on some eBooks.”Reading Group Choices, a recognized authority in discussible book club selections, provides a multitude of fun and useful resources for book clubs on their website including their annual guide, Reading Group Choices 2011: Selections for Lively Book Discussions, now in its 17th edition ($6.95).  Subscribe to the RGC e-newsletter for a comprehensive review of their book recommendations, chances to win free books, upcoming book festivals, and tips for book club hosts. Mead has recently launched several initiatives that offer book clubs unprecedented access into the lives and work of writers, forging the author-reader bond on her blog, On the Bookcase. Explore their website at ( Connect on Facebook, or follow @ReadingGChoices on Twitter.