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Mobile e-book readers on the rise

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More people are now using their mobile phones to read e-books, a survey has revealed.

The survey of 3,000 consumers in the USA and UK, by Publishing Technology, found that 43 per cent have read an e-book, or part of an e-book, on their handsets, and that 66 per cent (59 per cent UK/ 72 per cent US) of mobile phone book readers read more on their phones than they did last year.

But despite the mobile phone’s overall growth in appeal and popularity as a reading device, the survey discovered that readers – particularly in the UK – tend to read on their handsets fairly infrequently and in much shorter bursts, compared to the amount of time they would spend reading printed books or ebooks on tablets and e-readers.

Just 26 per cent of British mobile phone book readers use their devices to read more than once a week, compared to 53 per cent of Americans. Two thirds of Brits (65 per cent) like to spend less than 30 minutes reading on their mobile phones at each sitting, whereas half (50 per cent) of Americans are comfortable spending more than 30 minutes on each mobile phone reading session.

In the USA, 46 per cent of mobile readers claimed they regularly finish books on their phones, with 34 per cent reading books across multiple devices, including their handsets. In the UK the completion rate is far lower at just 17 per cent, with 28 per cent regularly switching between devices.

Half (50 per cent) of all respondents said they read exactly the same content on their phones as they do on other formats with 29 per cent suggesting they preferred to indulge in shorter content forms on their mobiles.

According to respondents who were opposed to reading full-length books on their phones, the main turn offs were: general lack of convenience (40 per cent), mobile phone over usage (31 per cent), unpleasant overall reading experience (33 per cent) and ease of use and accessibility shortcomings with platforms (24 per cent).