A PC Advisor poll (Macworld's sister publication) of 987 site visitors has found that almost a third (32.8 percent) already own an ebook reader, while 26.5 percent are interested in owning an ebook reader but have yet to splash out.
The figures represent a massive increase from the last time PCA ran this poll, back in February 2009. Interest has more than tripled in the space of 21 months. Back at the start of 2009, just 5.2 percent of respondents said they own an ebook reader, while a further 11.6 percent expressed an interest in owning one. The combined group of interested voters, then, has rocketed from 16.8 to 59.3 percent.
"I have had a Kindle for about two months now and find it terrific," commented forum user tullie. "Once used to it, it is just like a real book."
mammak was another recent convert: "I got my Kindle 3 just yesterday, and already I'm hooked. On Amazon there is a long list of ebooks for free, and anything else is only a few pounds. It is so easy to hold. You can easily increase/decrease the text size. And you can also link your Twitter and Facebook accounts with your Kindle."
Asked 'Would you buy an e-reader?', a massive 74.2 percent of voters in Feb 2009 answered 'No, I prefer real books'. In Nov 2010 this had dropped to just 22.2 percent.
One remaining obstacle to adoption for some commenters, however, was the cost of ebook readers, and for the ebooks themselves. "You pay something over £100 for the Kindle, then pay about £5 to £10 for each book," pointed out anchor.
However, the Forum Editor proposed that ebooks "cost less than their paper versions. [My Kindle] has already paid for itself in terms of the savings I've made and there's a bonus - Amazon gave me the complete works of Charles Dickens for nothing."
One final issue that may be more difficult to get past is this one, put forward by OTT_B: "I was asking about this a while ago, with the view to getting one for my rather literary biased partner. It turns out she likes the touch and smell of a book."
The remaining answer was 'No, I'm happy using a PC, smartphone or PDA to read ebooks'. This received 9.1 percent of votes in Feb 2009, which increased to 18.4 percent in our recent poll.