A third of over-55s now own an e-reader – even more than younger generation

Older-generation buying more e-readers than the young

Older-generation buying more e-readers than the young

They may be developing their own shades of  grey. But Britain’s older generations are far from technophobic when it comes to  reading.

Nearly one in three over-55s now owns  an  e-reader, research reveals.

Mums, dads, grannies and grandads are  increasingly demonstrating that while technology is widely regarded as the  domain of the young, in fact digital books are replacing or supplementing  traditional ones in the homes of savvy seniors.

Many are discovering there’s nothing quite  like settling down in front of a nice warm Kindle Fire, or putting their feet up  with an iPad.

According to research by Mintel consumer  analysts, 29 per cent of those aged 55 and above now own a digital book reader,  compared with just 22 per cent of the younger generation.

Older women embracing the digital age are  particularly fond of the devices, with 31 per cent owning one.

That may also have something to do with 50  Shades Of Grey, the publishing phenomenon which began life as an e-book.

The findings fly in the face of assumptions  that only youngsters can conquer the complexities of technological wizardry, or  that oldies would never abandon proper books.

Paul Davies, of Mintel, said: ‘Over-55s are  the keenest readers across all formats of books (paperback, hardback and  digital) – bar audiobooks.

‘The popularity of e-readers in this age  group is related to the fact that the digital book is designed specifically to  cater for an activity in which they are the keenest participants.’ Or, to put it  another way, e-readers probably appeal to granny because she can enlarge the  text, and will never lose her place in a book again.

But don’t get the idea that the older  generation is fearlessly spearheading a silver surfer rev

And owning a smartphone? That, apparently, is  a whole new chapter. ‘The majority continue to have no immediate need for one,’ Mr Davies said.

Amazon launched the first successful  e-reader, the Kindle, in November 2007. It used a low power ‘e-ink’ display that  had no visibility problems in sunlight.

The technology has since evolved and many  tablets, such as the Kindle Fire, combine an e-reader with the ability to play  music and films and browse the internet.

by Paul Harris
18 January  2013


One in four admits to needing a youngster to  teach them how to use new technology.

About Dyslexia Lady

Maria Chivers is married with two children and lives in Swindon, UK. Maria is an international author and writes on: Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia; Dyspraxia; ADHD and other Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs).

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