E-books and E-book readers : what Indian readers want

by Avishek Basu Mallick on April 3, 2014

This report, compiled by IndiaBookStore, was first published at www.NextBigWhat.com .

Most of us still like the good old printed book. The dead tree edition, some say. But things are changing quite fast. E-books are slowly picking up, with Amazon, Google, Apple and the likes of Flipkart trying to push e-books. But what will make a reader buy an e-book? Or even an e-reader? A recent survey by IndiaBookStore, a search engine that helps users find price and availability of books offers some answers. The survey of 325 online users asked what would tempt someone to buy an e-book? Or would they stick to the dead tree edition? And other such questions. The respondents were classified as Light readers (36%), serious readers (30%) and obsessive readers (20%) and the rest were very light readers. Here are the findings.

What would tempt you to buy an e-reader?

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  • 46% of light readers and 44% of our serious readers are waiting for e-book prices to come down.
  • The obsessive reader is the only one (excluding the academic and non-reader) for whom a change of lifestyle (43%) is more important to buy an e-book reader as compared to its price (38%).

Which reading format do you prefer?

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  • 52% of readers are “traditional” i.e. they prefer print to electronic ink.
  • The light reader is more open to experimentation than his serious or obsessive counterpart. 53% of this segment prefers to read on an electronic medium than on paper.
  • 53% of our serious readers and a chunky 63% of the obsessive reader category would prefer a physical book to its virtual counterpart.

Why have you not bought an e-book reader yet?

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  • 61% of our participants haven’t bought an e-book reader yet because of the inhibitive prices while 43% would buy one the moment the prices go down.
  • The serious reader is the most concerned about the prices of e-book readers as 56% of them haven’t bought one for the same reason.15% of our light readers would rather buy an equivalent electronic device that can help one to read books and do more. This number is the highest across all categories.
  • The obsessive reader, on the other hand, is more likely to have an e-book reader with 23% of Light Reader Serious Reader Obsessive Reader the category owning one.

Which e-book reader would you buy?

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  • The most staggering revelation of all was the fact that 85% of our respondents would buy a Kindle if they had to buy an e-book reader.
  • The other categories are open to experimentation. While 87% of the serious reader population is content with a Kindle, 9% of them would look for a cheaper option.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Corinne Rodrigues April 5, 2014 at 12:23 PM

I love my Kindle which I bought three years ago – haven’t read so much in such a short time before that! I download free books, do book reviews (free books, again 😉 and buy books too. It’s so convenient!

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Dhishna Chandnani April 28, 2014 at 11:48 AM

I would definitely go for a Kindle!

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sophiya April 28, 2014 at 3:00 PM

I would buy kindle of course, it would be lots of books at your finger tips and carry them anywhere without worrying about luggage

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sophiya April 28, 2014 at 3:14 PM

E books will surely be the future for serious readers, kindle is a great choice for a reader

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Jinesh April 28, 2014 at 3:46 PM

e-books the future

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Pratikhya Alexis April 28, 2014 at 3:55 PM

I enjoy reading on kindle!

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pinky z dhamani April 28, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Kindle reader is the best thing for serious readers

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Akash April 28, 2014 at 4:53 PM

There is something about the smell of a new book that ebook readers can never match

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kirti basal April 28, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Enjoy reading on kindle 🙂

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Apoorva April 28, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Kindle.

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Aakash Rajwani April 28, 2014 at 8:48 PM

The hardcover gives you a sense of fufillment: “Yes, I’ve truly read it.”

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gaurav betala April 28, 2014 at 10:26 PM

definitely go for a Kindle

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ektakhetan April 29, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Interesting analysis that you put up here. I could not agree any less. If you ask me, I would prefer a book [hardbound copy] anytime over an electronic version…However there are books that I read on pdf format on my laptop and was absolutely hooked to it…so for me it is 50:50..whichever works in the situation, I am in.

Regarding a medium, well I have a kindle and if given a choice, I would prefer to upload ebooks on my kindle and carry around rather than picking up those heavy book while travelling. Kindle is more handy if the battery issues are taken care of.

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geeta nair April 29, 2014 at 11:36 PM

I prefer the hardcover version. But then what is said of the e reader is true.

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Siddhartha May 18, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Ebook cannot take away the pleasure of reading it from old printed book but in this age where every work require traveling away from home for days, I prefer ebooks over bulky printed books.

If only the ebooks price dropped like 40% from actual printed books ppl will buy more ebooks than printed books. Because of the price of ebooks ppl are weary in investing huge money in kindle like ebooks reader.

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Geeta Nair May 18, 2014 at 8:41 PM

The joy of reading printed books is different. But then when on the move I believe the e-book is the best option. You can travel light.

The analysis is interesting and if I may say, also true. I too feel the price of e-books is a bit on the higher side.

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