YouGov Survey on U.S. Book Ownership

David Montgomery of YouGov:

Physical books are a much more common thing for Americans to own than electronic books or e-books. Only around half of Americans say they own even one e-book, and only 9% of Americans say they own at least 100 e-books.

This is a trick question, since many e-books are encumbered by DRM and cannot be owned, only licensed. In 2009, Amazon famously revoked customers’ access to several e-books, including “1984”, due to a licensing issue.

For what it is worth, a whole-year survey of Canadian book buyers found over 70% of books sold in 2022 were print copies, with e-books and audiobooks at just 17% and 6% respectively. People switched to digital music and movies with little hesitation, but books seem to hold a different place in our lives.