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E-Readers Beneficial for Publishers?

As the School Library Journal notes, a recent Harris Interactive poll finds that users of e-readers read more and are more likely to buy or download books.

The results, while not entirely surprising, should give some confidence to book publishers wary of the shift from print to digital content. And, while Harris Interactive only surveyed users 18 and up, their findings should encourage digital textbook advocates that such devices can improve overall reading habits in schools.

Of the nearly 3,000 people surveyed, about 8 percent used e-readers. Of those users, 80 percent read at least six books per year, and 62 percent read 11 or more. By contrast, 54 percent of non-users read at least six books per pear, and 38 percent read 11 or more.

Further, of e-reader users, 67 percent were likely to purchase six or more books in a year, compared to only 38 percent of non-users. And 53 percent of e-reader users say they read more now than they did six months ago, compared to only 18 percent of non-users.

There are, of course, some likely lurking variables, not the least of which is that you probably wouldn't invest in an e-reader if you only read sporadically. But for those pushing for digital textbooks in schools, it's at least a sign that the medium is friendly enough for frequent readers to embrace, and profitable enough for publishers to invest in widespread adaptation.

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