NEW YORK, N.Y. – The tastes of the reading public are turning digital.

A Pew Internet Research Center survey released Thursday found that the percentage of Americans aged 16 and older who read an e-book grew from 16 per cent in 2011 to 23 per cent this year. Readers of traditional books dropped from 72 per cent to 67 per cent. Overall, those reading books of any kind dropped from 78 per cent to 75 per cent, a shift Pew called statistically insignificant.

Those owning an e-book device or tablet jumped from 18 per cent to 33 per cent, with much of that increase coming from last year’s holiday season, when millions received Kindles, Nooks and other e-readers as gifts.

Awareness that libraries offer digital texts grew from 24 per cent to 31 per cent.

The telephone survey of 2,252 people aged 16 and older was conducted from Oct. 15 to Nov. 10. It has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.