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Ebooks: winners in the generation game

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New technology, like pop music or radical politics, is something you’re expected to lose touch with as you get older. This idea is encouraged by the young, who would rather their elders gracefully embraced luddism than try to befriend them on Facebook. What’s refreshing about e-reading is that it’s not just popular with traditional early adopters; their parents are getting in on the act too.

According to market researcher Bowker, while younger people’s ebook consumption is plateauing, in older age groups it continues to grow: more than a quarter of 45- to 55-year-olds and a fifth of over-55s bought an ebook in the six months to March 2012, up from 17% and 15% last November. A OnePoll survey last year found the over-55s were more likely to own an e-reader than 18- to 24-year-olds.

We shouldn’t be too surprised: older people tend to be heavier book-buyers and baby-boomers keen technophiles. But e-readers have qualities that could make them indispensable to an ageing population.

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