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eBooks, eReaders catching on with the college crowd


This past holiday season, e-readers were found under many a tree and downloads of digital books followed with glee, according to the findings of a new student survey conducted by OnCampus Research, the research division of the National Association of College Stores (NACS).
The March 2011 OnCampus Electronic Book and E-Reader Device Report ( backs predictions that we could be approaching the tipping point for digital reading materials among this demographic. The latest report, the product of a survey of 655 students, explores their e-book usage as well as their interest in e-reading devices.
The results showed a 6% increase in e-book purchases of any kind when compared to a similar study done in October 2010, while fewer students are relying on laptops or netbooks to read the material. Nearly 15% fewer students said they used those devices to read e-books, while 39% said they used a dedicated e-reader, up from 19% just five months ago.

“Although the vast majority of students still do not own a dedicated e-reader, this is a significant jump in five short months,” says Julie Traylor, NACS chief of planning and research.
Nearly 15% reported owning an e-reader, up from 8% in October. Of those now owning a digital e-reader, the Amazon Kindle was the most popular, with 52% of college students owning one, compared to 32% five months ago. Other top e-reader devices included Barnes & Noble’s Nook (21%), iPhone (17%), and iPad (10%).
Students interested in purchasing a new e-reader are most interested in the iPad and Kindle (both 27%), followed by the Nook. Curiously, print textbooks continue as the preferred media option among this demographic. Fully 75% of the college students in the March 2011 survey said that, if the choice was entirely theirs, they would select a print textbook. This is similar to the findings of the October 2010 e-reader survey, as well as one done in the fall of 2008.

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