It’s Read an E-book Week and as we celebrate authors, readers and the devices that help make reading electronically possible, we are also taking a look at emerging digital reading trends.

The State of E-textBooks

According to the study, Digital Textbook Sales in U.S. Higher Education – A Five-Year Projection, digital textbook sales in the United States are projected to surpass 18% of combined new textbook sales for the higher education and career education markets. It’s no secret that budget cuts are causing stress on teachers, students and educational resources. The cost of textbooks alone is enough, making e-textbooks an affordable and accessible alternative, especially considering that the proliferation of mobile computing devices -- netbooks, tablets, and smartphones -- and mobile OS platforms will generate increased demand for digital textbooks among students and faculty.

E-reading Trends

The Publishers Association recently revealed new data providing a snapshot of the current e-reading market in the UK. Based on holiday shopping behaviors, 84% of those who received an e-reader for Christmas had downloaded at least one e-book (paid for or free), compared to 59% of those who got a smartphone, iPad or eReader. Additionally, e-reader recipients demonstrated more enthusiasm for downloading, paying for an average of 5.9 e-books each, compared to the broader sample of those who had received either an e-reader, smartphone or iPad -- who had paid to download 5.3 e-books on average.

Curating E-reading

Looking to curate your digital library, follow readers who share your tastes and join discussions about books you love? Look no further than Copia. Recently, it announced an agreement with the Collegiate Retail Alliance (CRA), a coalition of 50 large independent college stores, to launch a pilot program at 10 CRA member universities that promote Copia’s educational digital usability.

The Copia platform allows users to read e-books, as well as buy both physical and digital books, and integrates social media functionality that allows users to connect online to share and discuss interests. By enabling students to share notes (or limit access to them), conduct online discussions or allow professors to distribute notes or class work to specific students or groups, the Copia platform combines digital content delivery, e-commerce and social networking in an effort to provide new content experience.

The digital reading experience has been evolving for awhile, but thanks to the popularity of the iPad, Nook, Kindle and other tablet devices, e-reading has become a more viable platform. While convenient for subway riders or air travelers, educational institutions from libraries to colleges are also benefiting from putting their books in digital formats. As we continue to track the reach and impact of e-books, the evolution of content publishing, consumer behavior and mobile devices will continue to drive the growth of e-readership.