May 28, 2022

Bowker: British Kids Read Their e-Books On a Bigger Screen & More UK Adults Buying e-Books

From the Bowker Announcement:

British children aged 10 and under are reading e-books, but on laptops rather than designated devices like the Amazon Kindle.  Once they turn 11, they embrace the Kindle as their most widely used device for e-book consumption.

These insights are courtesy of Bowker Market Research’s Understanding the Digital Consumer project, an ongoing study of the use of e-books by British consumers.  The latest wave of research, completed in March 2012, included an extended set of questions around children and their use of digital content.


The latest results from Understanding the Digital Consumer show that among adult readers of e-books there has been a huge increase in the use of the Kindle device, with 40 percent of e-readers using it most often.  The Kindle has surpassed both desktops and laptops (collectively used most often by 45 percent as measured in February 2011) and other e-readers (used most often by 6% in February 2011). There was also growth in the use of tablets, which more than doubled market share between February 2011 and March 2012, but still lag other devices. Just 12 percent report using them most often.


Looking at e-book consumption overall, Understanding the Digital Consumer shows continuing growth in the percentage of British adults who have purchased an e-book — an almost three-fold increase since February 2011. The market is set for further growth, with 31 percent of British adults saying they are likely to buy an e-book in the next six months.

Those under the age of 35 remain slightly more likely to have purchased an e-book, but growth in e-book consumption is being driven by older readers, particularly those aged 45-54 (Just over a quarter of this group purchased an e-book in the six months to March 2012, up from 17 percent in November 2011. Looking at gender differences, while men are more likely than women to buy e-books, women make more voracious e-book consumers. They buy more and download more e-books for free, too.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.