German Study Reveals Surprising Attitudes to E-readers

In German Buch News by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary

Most publishers are operating on the assumption that, even though e-book sales are still a small percentage of overall book sales, there is vast potential for this segment to expand. According to the latest annual study conducted by the Institut für Demoskopie in Allensbach, as reported in the Boersenblatt, only one percent of Germans between the ages of 14 and 69 (480,000 people) currently use an e-reader to read books or periodicals. But another 20 per cent (10.62 million) could imagine eventually using one.

The firm identified significant distinctions in attitude toward e-readers when comparing those with a pronounced interest in books to those without much interest, as well as between men and women. Seventy per cent of men without much interest in books could see themselves using an e-reader, but that number was demonstrably lower for women (30 per cent). The reverse was true when self-professed book lovers were asked. Sixty-three per cent of book-loving women were open to using e-readers, while only 37 per cent of men in that category were of the same mindset.

Perhaps the most valuable figure revealed by the study is the fact that 14.5% of those surveyed (7.85 million people, ranging in age from 14 to 69 years) said that reading e-books would be a possibility for them.

About the Author

Siobhan O'Leary

Siobhan O’Leary is a literary agent, translator and writer based in Berlin. She previously worked in the Foreign Rights department of the Crown Publishing Group (Random House) and at the publishing consulting firm Market Partners International.