2012: the Year of Hand-Me-Down eReaders

4.5 million eReaders became hand-me-downs in 2012

Have you got more than one eReader in your house? I do. Well, a new study by NextMarket Insights suggests that users are upgrading their existing devices and giving the old ones to family members.

The eReader price war of the last few years has led to increased sales — making it hardly surprising that surplus devices are hanging around. Led by Michael Wolf (former VP of research for GigaOm Pro/eBook publisher), NextMarket is new on the scene and this new report is throwing up interesting statistics:

…more than half of all households where people read eBooks have more than one eReading device, and 17 percent of all eReading households have three or more eReading devices.

Of course the development of the tablet market means a lot of eReader users are reading eBooks on devices besides dedicated devices — and the surplus eReaders get given to family members.

NextMarket Insights estimates that 4.5 million eReaders became hand-me-downs last year… In fact, according to the report, people in households that own multiple eReaders are twice as likely than households who don’t own multiple devices to use an iPad as their primary eReading device.

What I found most interesting (if not surprising) was that the report found that “4 in 10 eBook readers that live in a household with only a single eReader read Kindles.” And 7 percent use their smartphone as their primary eReading device. Do you have more than one? I’ve got a tablet, smartphone and a Kindle, so I guess that fits

Dean Fetzer

News by Dean Fetzer

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for the past 21 years. After a career in graphic design, he started a pub review website in the late 90’s; He left that in 2011 to concentrate on his thriller writing, as well as offering publishing services for authors, poets and artists. When not writing - or in the pub - he can be found in the theatre, live music venues and travelling.

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Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne January 17, 2013 - 3:25pm

I have a Nook, but I don't use it. I mainly loan it to my girlfriend with my manuscripts loaded on it when she wants to read one, thereby not wasting lots of paper and ink (she can't read much on a computer screen, so needs the e-ink screen). I have an iPod touch that has a couple ereader apps on it when I was fiddling with them, but I've never read anything on it.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine January 17, 2013 - 3:37pm

I just got a Kindle Paperwhite and I'm liking it so far. I didn't want something that made me feel like I was staring at a computer screen, and I didn't want something loaded with other distractions.

.'s picture
. January 17, 2013 - 8:48pm

I love my old ass Kindle. Won't get rid of it. 

Though it would be nice to cheat on it with a new one.

Michael.Eric.Snyder's picture
Michael.Eric.Snyder January 17, 2013 - 10:43pm

I have a Kindle Keyboard, an iPhone, an iPad, and the new Kindle Paperwhite.

I've read plenty of books on everything but the iPhone, and of them all I find the Paperwhite to be the best for long-stretch reading—no distractions to tempt me away and it's far easier on the eyes than backlit displays. Kindle Keyboard would be second. 

My only wish for the Paperwhite would be an extra inch or two for the display. The screen is paperback-size, but it's only one page of the paperback. I feel like I turn pages a bit more than I would like. Something larger, but not as large as the old Kindle DX or the iPad.

On a side note, I'm so torn between the Paperwhite and print. I can't manage not being able to browse at a local bookstore, but I rarely *want* to read on paper any more. It's heavier. It requires storage. And I used to care that switching to digital meant that I wouldn't have the proverbial window into my soul that a bookshelf provides friends and family, but I put everything on Goodreads now and it's almost the same thing. 

SammyB's picture
SammyB from Las Vegas is reading currently too many to list January 18, 2013 - 12:41am

I have a Kindle, then the Kindle app on my iPhone and lap top, but I never use any of them to read books. I have a lot of ebooks too. This isn't for lack of trying. Maybe I shouldn't have attempted to read Game of Thrones first. Only made it about 10 chapters into the first book and locked the Kindle in my filing cabinet, where it has been sitting for over a year now. Guess I still can't get used to the reading on a device, so I always default to the physical books. I want to love my eReader! :(

Andreea Mihai's picture
Andreea Mihai from Bucharest, Romania is reading Dance Dance Dance - Haruki Murakami January 18, 2013 - 12:52am

I have a Kindle Touch, an iPhone and an iPad, but I use only the Kindle for reading and the iPad for comic books. I love my Kindle Touch, I never go out without it, I hope it won't break too soon, since I don't want or need a new one.

Michael.Eric.Snyder's picture
Michael.Eric.Snyder January 18, 2013 - 2:08am

SammyB, that you haven't finished Game of Thrones via any reading platform strikes me as just plain terrible. I would almost call it tragic, but I've decidedly overused that particular adjective today. Perhaps I should call it... tragical instead.

Then again, the first book some consider a bit dry—although it contains his finest writing in the series, imho. 

As far as loving the e reader, my recommendation is to come back to it with an open mind and patience. More than anything, patience. 

It took me several hours to find my way into the e reader, to immerse myself in the digital ink successfully. Initially, it was quite hard to forget that I was holding a new reading device in my hand... and the presence of the device, the mere fact such wondrocity existed and that I could call it my own, rendered the content within almost a secondary experience. 

But I got used to it. Forgot I wasn't holding an old-fashioned book. Immersion returned. And for the most part, I haven't looked back! 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated January 18, 2013 - 2:34am

I wonder does this count smart phones, tablets, and computers? By that math I have 5 devices at my place; 3 PCs, my Kindle Keyboard, and a Android phone. I wouldn't imagine that many people have just a Kindle these days.

SConley's picture
SConley from Texas is reading Coin Locker Babies January 18, 2013 - 8:26am

I want one!

SConley's picture
SConley from Texas is reading Coin Locker Babies January 18, 2013 - 8:28am

Also, my friends and family and i all share Netflix and Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime and HBO Go.

Michael Wais Jr's picture
Michael Wais Jr from San Diego, CA is reading "The Iliad" January 18, 2013 - 10:52am

You can't read books on Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Go:

SConley's picture
SConley from Texas is reading Coin Locker Babies January 18, 2013 - 1:02pm