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Survey finds increase in e-reading

An estimated 33 percent of Americans own a computer table or e-reader, the Pew Internet Research Center says.

Robert Michael/AFP/Getty Images/File 2012

An estimated 33 percent of Americans own a computer table or e-reader, the Pew Internet Research Center says.

NEW YORK — The tastes of the reading public are turning digital.

A Pew Internet Research Center survey released Thursday found that the percentage of Americans 16 and older who had read an e-book grew from 16 percent in 2011 to 23 percent this year. Readers of traditional books dropped from 72 percent to 67 percent. Overall, those reading books of any kind dropped from 78 percent to 75 percent, a shift Pew called statistically insignificant.

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Those owning an e-book device or tablet jumped to 33 percent from 18 percent, with much of that increase coming from last year’s holiday season, when millions received Kindles, Nooks, and other e-readers as gifts.

Awareness that libraries offer digital texts grew to 31 percent from 24 percent.

The telephone survey of 2,252 people 16 and older was conducted Oct. 15-Nov. 10. It has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.

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