Tablet Devices Owned by One-Quarter of Americans: Pew

A new survey suggested an increasing number of Americas have access to ebooks, but a dismal percentage of citizens are actually reading literature.

As the number of ebook-reading devices proliferates, the population of ebook readers continues to grow, according to the findings of the Pew Research Center's latest Internet & American Life survey.

An estimated 25 percent of Americans owns a tablet device such as an Apple iPad or an Amazon Kindle Fire, up from 10 percent who owned tablets in late 2011, according to the Pew survey, which was conducted from Oct. 15 to Nov. 10 among 2,252 Americans aged 16 and older. The study also showed that 19 percent of survey respondents reported owning an e-reader.

In the past year, the number of those who read ebooks increased from 16 percent of those surveyed to 23 percent. The number of book readers in late 2012 was 75 percent of the population, according to the Pew survey, which was conducted from Oct. 15 to Nov. 10 among 2,252 Americans, aged 16 and older.

In the book-reading population, those most likely to read ebooks include those with college or graduate degrees, those who live in households earning more than $75,000, and those whose ages fall between 30 and 49, the survey indicated.

"This move toward ebooks has also affected libraries. The share of recent library users who have borrowed an ebook from a library has increased from 3 percent last year to 5 percent this year," the report said. "Moreover, awareness of ebook lending by libraries is growing. The share of those in the overall population who are aware that libraries offer ebooks has jumped from 24 percent late last year to 31 percent now."

Beyond that, there is growing public awareness that the vast majority of public libraries now lend ebooks. The study showed a drop in the number of people who do not know whether their local library has an ebook-borrowing program. In the latest survey, 57 percent said they didn't know if their library offers ebooks. Last year, 63 percent of those aged 16 and above did not know if their library offered ebooks for borrowing.

When it comes to the reading habits of Americans, the survey found 89 percent of the book readers said they had read a printed book, representing 67 percent of respondents. Thirty percent of the book readers said they had read an ebook, which translates into 23 percent of those polled.

The survey found 75 percent of Americans aged 16 and older said they had read a book in any platform in the previous 12 months, and just 7 percent read one book in the previous 12 months.