Study: E-book reading in U.S. jumps to 23% in 2012

Good news for Amazon’s Kindle business: The number of people who read e-books rose to 23 percent in 2012 — up from 16 percent the previous year — among Americans ages 16 and older, according to the results of a new study released this morning by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Borrowing of e-books from libraries also increased, to 5 percent of recent library users, from 3 percent last year.

What about old-fashioned books? Yep, you guessed it: Among the same group, the number who read printed books fell to 67 percent in 2012 from 72 percent in 2011.

The study credits the uptick in e-book reading to a rise in ownership of tablets such as the iPad and Kindle Fire, and dedicated e-reading devices such as the Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook.

A separate report by research firm IHS, released earlier this month, said that sales of dedicated e-reading devices such as the Kindle and Nook would decline this year as tablet sales increase.

Here’s a link to the Pew results, including a detailed demographic breakdown. The survey was conducted in October and November, polling more than 2,200 Americans, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.

(Thanks to GeekWire columnist Frank Catalano for the tip.)