The Pew Internet and American Life Project reports that as of February 2012, 21% of all Americans have read a digital book in the past year, a number that jumped higher after the holiday season. Pew attributes this increase to an influx of eBook devices given as gifts, but what we found the most interesting is the follow up poll that asked these readers which format was better for a series of different scenarios.
Not surprisingly, reading while traveling / commuting, being able to get a book quickly, and having a wide selection of available titles were all deemed better-served by eBooks. However, the print-book camp strongly favored physical books when reading with a child or for sharing reading material with friends. And users were about split down the middle in determining which format is better for reading in bed. (Click the graph below to view a larger version on the Pew website.)
For those of you who are not yet digital book readers, we're curious to know if any of these reasons have contributed to your reluctance to make the switch. We doubt that a hesitation to use an eBook reader with children is really stopping anyone from buying a Kindle, NOOK, or other such device for him or herself, but the statistics about sharing books and reading in bed are perhaps more telling.
If sharing books with friends was easier and more cost-effective via your electronic reader, would you be more inclined to make the switch? And for those of you who don't like reading an eBook in bed, why not? Are there any other scenarios in which you'd prefer to have one format over the other? Sound off in the comments below.