A survey commissioned by Publishing Technology in August 2014 found that out of 3,000 consumers across the US and UK, 43 per cent have read an e-book – or part of an e-book – on their mobile device and that 66 per cent of mobile phone book readers currently read more on their phones than they did in 2013.
Perhaps publishers need to shift their focus away from investment on print, tablets and dedicated e-readers as the main reading channels for their content and consider mobile devices as a significant route of content delivery? To put this into context, the market for smartphones has grown considerably from 53 million in 2006 to a projected 2.4 billion in 2015. At the same time, recent estimates suggest that over the same period Amazon has sold just over 20 million Kindle devices.
However, despite the mobile phone’s overall growth in appeal and popularity over the Kindle 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 e-books on tablets.
Is smartphone access to core text e-books important to students? Do publishers provide adequate provision for smartphone access to their content? “Reading behaviour” and “Discovery” are two of the key themes of the literature review we are undertaking for the Books Right Here Right Now project and these are just a couple of the questions that the review will consider.