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Winter 2011 Kindle Nation Citizen Survey Results: Despite All the New Kids on the Block, 90% of Respondents Still Find a “Superior” Reading Experience with the Kindle

(One of several Kindle Nation posts exploring the results of the Winter 2011 Kindle Nation Citizen Survey. Click here to see a breakdown of results.)   


By Tom Dulaney, Contributing Reporter

The 2011 Winter Kindle Nation Citizen Survey asked users about their Kindle experiences from two different perspectives:

  • What features of the Kindle do you use? “Tell us about your use of various Kindle features.”
  • How does the Kindle perform, feature by feature? The survey asked: “Amazon has been clear that its mission with the Kindle is to provide a superior reading experience. ….Rate the Kindle’s performance in each of the following areas:”

This post will stick to the book-related features of the Kindle. A later post will explore the Kindle’s various other abilities.

As a dedicated ebook reading device, the Kindle’s first mission is finding, downloading and presenting books for reading.

54% of our survey respondents make a daily habit of reading on Kindle. Another 30% do so weekly, and 13% read books on their Kindles “sometimes.” 43 people rarely use their Kindles for reading.

How do they rate the Kindle’s performance for its intended purpose as a reader?

90% of the respondents said the Kindle provides “a superior experience” as a reading device. Another 10% called the Kindle’s reading experience “useful, if flawed,” for a very high 99%+ aggregate.

Readers continue to love the convenience and wireless connectivity that allows them to browse and order Kindle books directly from their Kindle, without wires, cables, or USB connections. 54% purchase and download ebooks daily with the device. About 30% do so weekly, and another 13% “sometimes.”

How good is the inbuilt Kindle Store experience? Some 52% rate browsing and ordering a “superior” experience, while 34% rate it “useful if flawed” for a total of 85%.

42% or those surveyed say they get reading matter from sources other than the Kindle Store — including free sources like Project Gutenberg and other free book collections to which Kindle Nation provides links — but in terms of frequency they are far less likely to go beyond the Kindle Store. About 5 % do so daily, 11% weekly and 26% “sometimes.”

A large majority — 77% of respondents — read samples before they buy an ebook. Again, frequency of use varies as expected: 9% read samples nearly every day, 28% do so weekly, and 39% “sometimes.”

Amazon’s “Buy Once, Read Anywhere” program is a hit with readers. About 50% or respondents say they buy, download and read ebooks using one of the Kindle apps with a device other than a Kindle.

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