New York, New York (July 31, 2012) – E-book consumers are becoming more diverse in their format preferences, says the Book Industry Study Group (BISG)’s closely-watched Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading report. The third installment in Volume Three of this Bowker-powered study – available today – shows that the percentage of e-book consumers who exclusively or mostly purchase book content in e-book format has decreased from nearly 70 percent in August 2011 to 60 percent in May 2012. Over the same period, the percentage of survey respondents who have no preference for either e-book or print formats, or who buy some genres in e-book format and others in print, rose from 25 percent to 34 percent.


The study also tracks changes in device ownership, showing that Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet has overtaken Apple’s iPad among e-book consumers for the first time. Ownership of the Kindle Fire has grown from seven percent of respondents in December 2011 to 20 percent just six months later. Apple’s iPad has remained static at 17 percent over the same time period.


Ownership of other tablets remains relatively low, with five percent of respondents investing in Barnes & Noble’s NOOK tablet and eight percent reporting possession of another Android-based tablet.


“Device ownership is an important factor in predicting the future. In previous studies, changes in levels of device ownership have presaged changes in e book buying behavior,” said Angela Bole, BISG’s Deputy Executive Director. “One of the strengths of this study is that it can plot such evolution, preparing publishers for what e-book consumers want and expect from them next.”


Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading also reveals that the overall use of multifunction tablets as primary e-reading devices continues to rise, with a corresponding drop in preference for dedicated e-readers. For example, while Amazon’s Kindle e-reader is still the most often cited primary device for reading e-books (35 percent), it’s down from its August 2011 high of 48 percent. Not all tablets are increasing in use: Apple’s iPad decreased slightly from 10 percent in February to nine percent in May. Black-and-white and color versions of the NOOK e-reader are also down, dropping from 17 percent in August 2011 to 13 percent in May 2012.


Since November 2009, Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading has been tracking the habits and preferences of consumers who say they have acquired an e-book or a dedicated e-reading device within the past 18 months. Volume Three is sponsored by Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, and Harlequin. In addition to quarterly PDF Summary Reports, Volume Three of Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading is published as a dynamic online report via Real-Time Reporting: a unique web-based tool set displaying the raw data derived from responses – drillable, sortable with on-demand accessibility.


Data for Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading was derived from a nationally representative panel of book consumers (men, women and teens). Each month a new group of respondents complete surveys about their book purchasing behavior for Bowker Market Research. Out of nearly 65,000 possible panelists drawn from the last 18 months, respondents were qualified for the BISG e-book survey by indicating they had either purchased a “digital book or e-book” or owned a dedicated e-reader device (such as Kindle, NOOK, or Sony Reader). This process yielded a survey sample of more than 1,000 e-book consumers.


The survey findings are available for sale both as a PDF Summary Report and as a complete data compendium, accessible online. A substantial discount is available for BISG members. For more information, or to order a copy of Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading, visit





About the Book Industry Study Group, Inc.


The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) is the U.S. book industry’s leading trade association for policy, standards, and research. The mission of BISG is to create a more informed, empowered, and efficient book industry supply chain. Membership consists of publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians, and others engaged in the business of print and electronic media. For more than 30 years, BISG has provided a forum for all industry professionals to come together and efficiently address issues and concerns to advance the book community. Learn more about BISG at


About Bowker


Bowker is the world’s leading provider of bibliographic information and management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers, and libraries better serve their customers. Creators of products and services that make books easier for people to discover, evaluate, order, and experience, the company also generates research and resources for publishers, helping them understand and meet the interests of readers worldwide. Bowker, an affiliated business of ProQuest and the official ISBN Agency for the United States and its territories as well as Australia, is headquartered in New Providence, New Jersey with additional operations in England and Australia. Learn more at


Kindle and Kindle Fire are registered trademarks of Amazon Technologies Inc.


NOOK is a registered trademark of Fission LLC.


iPad is a registered trademark of Apple.