But now, e-books are being praised for promoting good reading habits, too.
A study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project shows that book reading has jumped in recent years, all thanks to e-books.
The study shows that one-fifth of U.S. adults—20%—have read an e-book in the past year.
Expand that statistic to include Americans who have used an e-reader device to read news articles or magazines, and it jumps to 43%
Also, a typical e-book user read 24 books in the past year, compared with the 15 books reported by typical non-e-book users.
All these numbers point to a good news for electronic makers, as well as book publishers.
Currently 28% of Americans own a tablet or e-reader device, not including smartphones or iPod Touch users. Also, e-book readers are more likely to purchase their book rather than borrow it from the library or a friend.
While these are promising numbers for readers, the flip side may not be as attractive.
Pew’s study noted that 20% of U.S. adults said they have not read a single book (printed or electronic) in the past year. In general, people who did not own e-reading devices are more likely not to read much at all.
However, the potential of e-books is vast, and likely will only continue to grow and impact our future learning and leisure reading.