Purchases of eBook Readers Continue to Surge Past Sales Estimates

A lot of trees are being saved these days thanks to the booming popularity of e-book readers.

According to the findings of a new Pew survey, ownership of e-readers is quickly outpacing even the most aggressive of industry estimates.

Pew finds that the total share of adults in the United States who own an e-book reader doubled to 12% in the month of May, 2011.

That figure was a mere 6% as recently as November 2010. The researchers admits that this is “the first time since the Pew Internet Project began measuring e-reader use in April 2009 that ownership of this device has reached double digits among U.S. adults.”

Interestingly enough, although some folks lump iPads and other tablet computes in the same category as e-book readers, Pew says tablet computers and other portable devices that can be used as e-readers have not experienced the same runaway growth in recent months.

In May 2011, 8% of adults report owning a tablet computer such as an iPad, Samsung Galaxy or Motorola Xoom. This is roughly the same percentage of adults who reported owning this kind of device in January 2011 (7%), and represents just a 3 percentage-point increase in ownership since November 2010. Prior to that, tablet ownership had been climbing relatively quickly.

Similarly speaking to the rapid adoption of mobile platforms among general consumers, the Pew report also marks the first time that laptop computers are as popular as desktop computers among US adults.

To read the complete report from Pew, click here.