2023-05-11 00:32Press release

New research suggests book reading is making a strong comeback

PriceSpy - ebook

According to new research carried out by the fully impartial price and product comparison site, PriceSpy, the pastime of book reading appears to be making a strong comeback - with the latest trend data showing that popularity for e-book readers is fast on the rise.


Since the start of this year, PriceSpy’s figures found year-on-year consumer purchase interest* for e-book readers increased by almost a third (+32 per cent). Conversely, for other screen devices, like tablets, growth figures were far less - at just 0.5% year-on-year respectively*.



Shopping category

Consumer Purchase Interest change (YoY)

2023 vs 2022*

e-book readers

+32 per cent growth year-on-year


+0.5 per cent growth year-on-year

*Insights based on PriceSpy’s historical click data for e-book readers in 2023 Vs 2022 (1 January 2023 – 29 March 2023 Vs 1 Jan 2022 – 29 March 2022)


Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand country manager for PriceSpy, says:  “Based on our latest findings, we can see there’s been a significant uptick in the number of Kiwis that are looking to buy e-book readers this year, suggesting that people may be turning to low-cost activities, like reading a good book, to keep them busy and entertained.


“Even though book reading has long been a popular pastime, we believe there are other reasons at play as to why we are seeing such growth.”


Cost-of-living crisis – entertainment costs may be cut

Liisa explains:  “Firstly, as consumers navigate the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, consumer purchase behaviours continue to change to accommodate higher grocery and fuel costs, mortgage rate rises and other price increases being passed back on to them.


“As such, rather than buy expensive devices like tablets, consumers may be making entertainment cutbacks, considering e-book readers instead.”


Shopping category

Average Weighted Price


e-book readers




** Pricing research is based on PriceSpy’s average weighted price data across the most-popular e-book readers in 2023

***Pricing research is based on PriceSpy’s average weighted price data across the most-popular tablets in 2023


PriceSpy’s historical pricing insights showed the average weighted price of a tablet in 2023** costs $1083. Whereas the average weighted price of an e-book reader costs $318** - delivering quite the saving of $765.


Liisa adds: “While e-book readers do not offer the same capabilities as a tablet, people may be more willing to invest in affordable book e-readers to help keep them busy and entertained.


“Even though there’s an initial outlay of a couple of hundred dollars to buy an e-book reader, the long-term investment can be quite affordable. For example, some digital books are free to download or cost a couple of dollars to purchase – and there are even subscription options available to provide instant access to thousands upon thousands of titles.”



“Another significant factor that may be influencing consumer purchase behaviours for e-book readers, may be driven by the social media trend, known as #BookTok,” says Liisa.


What is #BookTok?

A subculture on the social media platform, TikTok, #BookTok (short for Book TikTok) is an online community whereby people socially share and talk about their passion for all things book and literature related.


Interesting #BookTok Facts

  • #BookTok has generated 120 billion views on TikTok;
  • According to The New York Times, #BookTok has become a sustained and powerful force in the world of books, helping to create some of the biggest sellers on the market.
  • BookScan data, per a Today article, reported that #BookTok helped authors sell 20 million printed books in 2021 - and again in 2022, with sales rising a further 50 per cent
  • #BookTok is now so large, New Zealand retailers offer selling categories that feature top-rated books people are talking about on TikTok:


Digital Detox

“Following the stresses and uncertainties of a global health pandemic, the financial woes of a cost of living crisis and a difficult start to the year due to the weather, others may be choosing to put their wellbeing first – downing their phones and computers and instead spending more time reading, says Liisa.


“These insights follow global trend predictions reported on Forbes, which suggest more will take a digital detox in 2023.”


Conduct important price research first!

Liisa concludes: “For anyone looking to buy a new e-book reader and immerse themselves in the latest book recommendations, we encourage people to first carry out important price research before they make any rash purchase decisions that they later live to regret.


“For anyone watching the purse strings at the moment or simply does not want to overpay for a product they are looking to buy, using a free price comparison site or app, like PriceSpy, is quick, free and easy to use.  And the long-term results can help people save hundreds if not thousands of dollars.”

About PriceSpy NZ

PriceSpy is a comprehensive price and product comparison service used by millions of consumers every month. It helps consumers find, discover, research and compare products.  Since the business first started in 2002, its main objective has been to help consumers make better purchasing decisions. PriceSpy does this by collecting and sharing honest, transparent information about retail stores, products and prices. PriceSpy has 108,000 indexed products, 1,730,000 indexed prices, 584,000 product ratings, 7,510 store ratings and 1183 stores. Providing a fully impartial comparison service for consumers and a deep depository of price data for retailers. PriceSpy is part of Schibsted and is located in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, France and the United Kingdom. The PriceSpy app is available to download for free, via the App Store and Google Play.