According to an article in USA Today, 21% of the nearly 3,000 people asked had read an ebook since December last year.
This indicates a big change in the way people are buying and reading books, a change which looks set to continue snowballing. And of course that's more good news for writers - not just American writers, either, because in case this fact has slipped you by somehow, people from all around the world can now buy ebooks from writers who live all around the world.
I still say paper books won't vanish altogether, but will become the preserve of big art and photography books - right up until the day when an ereader can also act as a projector, so its user(s) can see a big version of whatever's on the screen. When you look at a painting, you want to be able to see it in sharp detail rather than squint at a fuzzy, pixilated miniature version.
The demise of the familiar pulp paperback format is, however, inevitable. I won't mourn its passing. Last time we moved house, moving our book collection was a major task. Eleven years down the line, it would be an even bigger task. With changing technology, we simply won't accumulate quite so much stuff.
I can hear a protesting wails from here... Ok, ok, I have my favourite paperbacks too; books which I'd hate to part company with simply because they're part of my own history, such as it is. Some books are precious because of your associations with them. It's like when your gran refused to throw away her old 78 mph vinyl recordings because she and granddad had danced to them seventy years earlier. Even though they had more crackles than bubble-wrap being rolled on by a hippo, those old recordings were precious to her.
I've own a number of ageing paperbacks which have a similar sentimental value. Their pages have turned a rich yellow ochre; their spines are more lined than oak bark, and several pages have drifted loose, and they've developed that distinctive musty old book smell. I could easily buy new copies but I don't want to. The cover pictures have been "improved and updated" and, besides, opening the old, well-thumbed versions is a bit like settling down for a visit with an old friend. I know that's just sentimental nonsense, but there you go.