A recent study into how we use our mobile phones has found that more and more of us are reading books on smartphones.
The survey by Publishing Technology found that 43% of consumers have read an Ebook, or part of an Ebook, on their mobile phone. From that 59% of UK users (72% in the US) said they currently read more on their phones than they did last year.
eBooks sales have been on the rise for nearly a decade now and although the market is slowing, the UK’s largest book retailer Amazon, claimed that eBooks outsell both hardbacks and paperbacks combined.
Individual eBook sales have been on a monumental increase for years, with figures suggesting 2013 saw a 140% growth in the European market, with similar progress worldwide.
Although overall reading figures on smartphones have risen, time actually spent indulged in a book on a portable device still stays pretty low. Two thirds of the Brits surveyed (65%) spend under 30 minutes reading on their mobile phones, with many sharing the load over a number of platforms, like tablet and computer.
Many users said they preferred reading shorter books on their smartphones in smaller bursts. This is believed to be in reaction to commuting times and the availably of free short stories and eBooks across mobile platforms.
Michael Cairns, CEO of Publishing Technology commented on the results.
“The mobile’s rise in popularity among readers is substantial and significant, but too are the abandon rates and infrequent, speedy reading sessions- this all tells us that the technology still has a long way to go to satisfy reader expectations and keep them coming back for more.”
Why are we all not reading on smartphones?
Even though reading figures have advanced massively across smartphones, there are still a number of issues holding the wannabe eReader back.
40% of the surveys cited a general lack of convenince when reading on a smartphone as a major turn-off. Over usage of their handset, be that in terms of battery drain or stress on the eye, was also seemingly an issue as a reason to not read on a mobile more often.
Smartphones are inevitably a distraction within themselves, with thousands of apps, videos and calls literally at your fingertips, the temptation to stray away from a book could be too much for many readers weighing up migration from the paperback form.
The next generation
Although mobile phone screens are getting larger and better quality, it’s no secret reading on a Smartphone screen is still a little awkward on the eyes.
Unlike traditional eBook readers like, the Kindle and Kobo, with larger screens and seemingly everlasting battery, smartphones suffer a little when used as an eReader due to inefficiency. For smartphone-books to take off, the technology needs to evolve.
The introduction of Phablets and better battery management tools, may meaning reading your book on the go will not be the drain it used to be.
“…as ‘phablets’ become more widespread and platforms seek to rapidly develop the mobile e-reading experience, I think we can expect the growth of mobile phone book reading to continue…” said Cairns
With more free publications and easy access online Bookstores, the world of eBooks is set to continue to grow and the more platforms this can be done across the more chance the format will get to grow.