By Nadia Gilani
Last updated at 10:45 AM on 26th October 2011
Comments (45) Add to My Stories Share Their bookshelves may be packed full of classical literature, but readers with high-brow tastes prefer low-brow ebooks, it has been claimed.
It would appear that many are taking advantage of the secrecy that eReaders such as the Kindle afford them.
They can save embarrassment in public by disguising what they are reading, whether it be a pulp fiction bestseller, the latest chick-lit title or an erotic novel.
Guilty secret: Many readers enjoy low-brow books on their eReaders
A poll of British readers found that a third of ebook readers are too embarrassed to reveal the truth about what they are reading.
One in five said they would be so ashamed of their collection that if they were to lose their ebook reader they would not claim it back.
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But the results also showed that 71 per cent of books on the shelves of those who responded were autobiographies, political memoirs, and other non-fiction titles - but those categories accounted for just 14 per cent of e-books read by those surveyed.
The most popular e-books were thrillers and mysteries followed by romance, humour and fantasy.
Fifty-five per cent said they had read fewer than a third of the books on their shelves while one in 10 admitted they had never read any of them.'
Sales of Mills and Boon ebooks have more than doubled over the past year, with many enjoying the secrecy the eReaders such as the Kindle afford them
Ebooks are proving increasingly popular because they can be easily downloaded and carry hundreds of titles.
The new Kindle can carry more than 1,000 titles, allowing readers to have their own personal library with them at all times.
Though it has only been available in the UK for two years, Amazon announced that ebook sales have overtaken hardback purchases on its website. In the US, Amazon sells more ebooks than all printed books.
Ulric Jerome, executive director of PIXmania group, which carried out the research told The Daily Telegraph: 'It seems that a lot of people are quite glad that when it comes to e-readers you can't judge a book by its cover.
'Perhaps its this combination of being able to keep our literary truths discreet, coupled with the British reserve, that has made the e-reader such a hit in the UK.'
Amazon updated its range of Kindles last month launching a thrifty model in Britain that costs less than £100.
GUILTY PLEASURES: AMAZON EBOOK BESTSELLERS
1. The Sense of an Ending
2. Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography
3. Candles on the Sand
4. The Help
5. Locked In
7. The Alchemist's Secret (Ben Hope 1)
8. The Bestseller
9. The Affair (Jack Reacher 16)
10. Snuff (Discworld Novels)
This month, WH Smith started selling the Kobo e-reader at a similar price. Apple has sold 180million ebooks worldwide to iPad, iPod touch and iPhone customers and bookstore, Waterstone's is rumoured to be looking into launching its own, according to The Telegraph.
In March, Mills and Boon, publisher of romantic fiction that sales of its e-books had more than doubled over the previous year and electronic versions of its novels were outselling its paperbacks.
The top two bestsellers on Amazon's e-book chart today were Julian Barnes' Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending followed by Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2053566/High-brow-readers-opt-lower-brow-novels-going-e-books.html#ixzz1bxUUVYJi