January 23, 2022

Just Released BISG Survey Findings Show Tablets Gaining on Dedicated E-Readers

New stats from the Book Industry Study Group (BISG).

From a Summary/News Release:

E-book consumers are decidedly shifting to multi-function tablets and away from dedicated e-readers, according to the Book Industry Study Group (BISG)’s closely watched on-going Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading survey.

The fourth and final installment in Volume Three of the Bowker-powered survey shows that tablets have risen by about 25 percent over the past year as the first choice for respondents’ e-reading device, while dedicated e-readers have fallen by the same amount.

The rise of tablet popularity has been fueled largely by Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which increased over the past year from no use to be the first choice for more than 17 percent of e-book consumers. Other Android devices, such as Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Tablet, have also increased as the first choice for respondents’ e-reading device, from two percent in August 2011 to nearly seven percent in August 2012, while Apple’s iPad has held steady around 10 percent.


Power Buyers – those who purchase e-books at least weekly – are rapidly increasing their preference for tablets as e-reading devices. More than 38 percent indicated that tablets are their primary e-reading device, compared with about 19 percent a year ago. Dedicated e-readers are preferred by less than half of Power Buyers today, compared with more than two thirds last year.

Further, tablets designed specifically for the purchase and consumption of books excel when it comes to that activity, but underperform for all others—sometimes by wide margins. Almost 60 percent of respondents who currently own Amazon’s Kindle Fire report that they read e-books “very often,” compared with 50 percent of those who currently own an Apple iPad.  The two most common activities reportedly performed “very often” by iPad owners are Web browsing (60 percent) and creating or reading emails or text messages (59 percent). Kindle Fire owners report those activities at 30 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

BISG’s Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading survey also looks at genre preferences, revealing that nonfiction genres, notably how-to guides/manuals and scientific/medical/technical titles, are generally preferred by respondents who read e-books on desktop, laptop, or netbook computers. “This possibly suggests the need to improve e-reading device capabilities for non-linear e-book content,” said Jo Henry, Global Director of Bowker Market Research.

Read the Complete Summary, Methodology, Purchase Info

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.