I'm a writer. I pay attention to what's going on in my industry, how technology is changing how we read, and I find reading habit studies interesting. Last week I stumbled across an article in Slate (probably via the Publisher's Weekly daily email) about the death of e-readers.
Why did this catch my attention? Because Barnes and Noble is finally spinning Nook off into its own division, like they've been saying they're going to do for at least two years now. I own a Nook. In fact, I'm on my second one. Bought a Simple Touch on Black Friday when it was half off and I love it.
Anyway, back to the Slate article. It notes how sales of e-readers are starting to decline and makes reference to several tech writers who are starting to say the e-reader is in its death throes. Smart phones and tablets are changing how we do everything, including reading. But not necessarily to the benefit of readers or authors, or brain development and cognitive skills.
I have an e-reader for one reason: I don't like reading books on a computer screen. Or on my phone, or on a tablet screen. I work on computers all day, whether I'm writing, goofing off on Facebook, email, or doing actual work for my job. When I go to bed I don't want to be staring at yet another backlit screen. Not to mention backlit screen use after dark can wreak havoc with my brain's ability to shut down for sleep. And I'm not alone in this.
But what really caught my interest in the article was the reference to this survey from 2012. It found that readers who own e-readers read, on average, 24 books per year, while those who don't own an e-reader read on average 15 books per year. That got me wondering. How many books have I read so far this year? Since I have a Goodreads shelf called Read In 2014, it was easy to find out.
My total so far this year? 29. Don't believe me? If you have a Goodreads account go look.The shelf says 27, but that's because one of the books shelved is a boxed set of three books. And yes, I've been doing a lot of binge reading this year. It's my favorite way to read. I love series, and when I get hooked on one I have to read them ALL.
And I can say with certainty having a Nook has led me to buying more books. I bought 90% of the Dark-Hunter series in ebook last year when they were on sale for the release of Styxx. Styxx was #23. I've also discovered new authors from picking up freebies, like Elisabeth Naughton.
How many books have YOU read this year?