Effects of E-books on the Purchasing and Reading of Fiction and Non-fiction
Undoubtedly, technological advancement and innovation have revolutionized the twenty-
first century in various ways, including reading and purchasing of both fiction and non-fiction
literature in their electronic forms. A recent study conducted by the Book Industry Study Group,
which focused on analyzing consumers’ attitudes towards e-book purchasing and reading, found
that there has been a significant growth in e-reading over the last decade. For instance, the study
showed that between 2010 and 2014, the market share of the e-book has more than quadrupled.
Further, it was established that at least 40 percent of the Americans own e-readers, tablets, and
iPad (Gilbert, 2015). The demands for non-fiction and fiction e-books have increased since the
onset of the twenty-first century since they are considered economical, easily portable,
multimodal, and engaging to many readers.
Popularly referred to as electronic books, the demand for e-books has been on the rise
since the onset of the new millennium as the preference of electronic reading grows. One of the
studies by Williams, Slade, and Dwivedi (2014) projected that e-books demand will surpass that
of printed books within the next two decades. Evidently, the sales revenue of the e-book sector
continue to rise and will account for one-third of the book sales by next year. In 2015 alone,
demand for fiction books increased considerably, with more than three-quarters of the sales
being in the electronic forms. In particular, the introduction of e-book system has resulted in a
sharp rise in reading and buying of romance fiction books. Today, this category of fiction
literature accounts for at least a quarter of the e-books sales (Gilbert, 2015).
Though print books are still dominant in the market, Woody, Daniel, and Baker (2010)
observed that their demands are steadily falling since 2009. On the contrary, it was noted that the
purchasing and reading of entertainment and religious non-fictions in the electronic form are
EFFECTS OF E-BOOKS ON THE PURCHASING AND READING 3
increasing. Similarly, the e-book reading and buying for fiction literature have increased over
time as they are considered motivational and more engaging to the readers (Woody, Daniel, &
Baker, 2010). In particular, young readers such as students are technologically motivated. As a
result, they prefer reading fiction and non-fiction books in their electronic forms. Besides being
considered exciting, e-books have been found to be multimodal and highly interactive to both
fiction and non-fiction readers (Gilbert, 2015).
Gilbert (2015) attributed this fast-growing demand for fiction and non-fiction e-books to
the economic advantages associated with electronic book versions. Despite the insignificant
differences in the prices of print and digital books, the reading and purchasing of the latter
continue increasing. Arguably, the primary reasons for the surge in the demand for e-books
include the comfort of online buying, a large range of selection titles, and electronic keywords
search. Consumers argue that the e-books are relatively economical than print books since they
can be shared by other readers once purchased by one person (Williams, Slade, & Dwivedi,
2014). Ideally, it is because they can be exchanged easily via electronic devices such as e-
In sum, the introduction of e-books has impacted on the reading and buying behaviors of
the consumers. The market share for digital books has been on the ascendancy since 2000.
Today, at least a third of the population in advanced economies demands the electronic versions
of fiction and non-fiction literature categories. With more than a half of the American population
owning electronic devices in the form of e-readers and tablets, it is expected that the reading and
purchasing of e-books will dominate the book market within the next decade.
EFFECTS OF E-BOOKS ON THE PURCHASING AND READING 4
Gilbert, R. J. (2015). E-books: A tale of digital disruption. The Journal of Economic
Perspectives, 29(3), 165-184.
Williams, M. D., Slade, E. L., & Dwivedi, Y. K. (2014). Consumers' intentions to use e-
readers. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 54(2), 66-76.
Woody, W. D., Daniel, D. B., & Baker, C. A. (2010). E-books or textbooks: Students prefer
textbooks. Computers & Education, 55(3), 945-948.