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Tech-fuelled reading binge

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Tech savvy Brits downloaded twice as many books to read on holiday this year than those that still read hardbacks and paperbacks, new research has shown.

Those that own an e-reader, such as an iPad or a Kindle, downloaded more than five books to read compared to someone that didn’t have an e-reader, who took just two.

One in five people now own an electronic device that they use for reading and say that they are inclined to read far more because they don’t have to carry heavy books with them.

But 32 per cent of owners confessed they were still nervous about using them away from home in case they damaged them.

The research was commissioned by Specsavers, sponsors of the TV Book Club and Crime Thriller Awards, a celebration of the best in crime fiction in books, films and TV.

Dame Mary Perkins, founder of Specsavers, says: ‘We’re witnessing a watershed moment in reading and publishing as the popularity of e-readers and other portable devices marks a revolution in the way that people experience books. In the US some indicators show that e-books are now out-selling paperback and hardback titles combined.

‘With all this change, it’s extremely encouraging to think that the advent of e-books could actually grow the overall market for books, with more people reading. The publishing industry is moving fast to adapt to these enormous changes, but I’m sure everyone, including publishers, would agree that anything that makes it easier for people to read more can only be a good thing.’

Nearly 65 per cent of those surveyed have a book on the go all year round and almost 35 per cent revisit their favourite books on a regular basis, with a further 40 per cent preferring crime or thrillers.

Mary Perkins continues: ‘Specsavers is committed to encouraging more people to read, so the results of this survey confirming that e-readers are doing just that and are experimenting with their book choices is good news.’

Nearly half are more likely to download unusual books and genres that they didn’t usually read because they are often free and three in ten say that they have been tempted to try something new because it was cheap.

Four in ten people said that their annual holiday was the only chance they really got to read because their day to day lives are so hectic.

Nearly half rely on family and friends to recommend good books to them whereas a third say they tend to read what’s popular in the book charts and being promoted.

Women were most likely to pick books from the ‘chick lit’ genre followed by thrillers, romance and crime books.

Men on the other hand were much more likely to read non-fiction and biographies and picked thrillers, crime and sci-fi books as their favourite genres.



We’re witnessing a watershed moment in reading and publishing as the popularity of e-readers and other portable devices marks a revolution in the way that people experience books

Dame Mary Perkins, founder of Specsavers



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