Tips & more

What we think about ebooks, 2011-2013

What we think about ebooks 2011 vs 2013: "Will ebooks..."

Google web search can be an interesting source of information about how our attitudes towards ebooks change.

Google has one feature that can tell a lot about what’s on our minds, without running an expensive survey or buying social media figures. It’s called Google Instant and most of us use it every day.

Google Instant tries to predict what you’re looking for, and as you type it suggests a few key phrases in a drop down menu. According to Google, it can save between 2 and 5 seconds on every search, but there is one thing much more interesting than that.

Instant autocomplete algorithm relies on popular queries typed by other users. In other words, only most popular queries are displayed in the Google Instant drop-down menu.

Two years ago, in October 2011, I thought it would be interesting to check out which ebook-related topics were bothering web users at that time. Simply, start typing in a Google search box “will ebooks…” and you can get some interesting hints on what people expect from ebooks, or, as you’ll see in the visualization below, they’re afraid of.

I compared Google Instant searches from October 28, 2011 and August 14, 2013. Why? Because what’s even more interesting than checking current status is analyzing the trend.

Will ebooks…

Two years ago most people were afraid ebooks would replace print books (3 out of 4 instant phrases were about that).

Well, anyone who could expect the fear would be gone until 2013 was wrong. “Will ebooks replace print books” is still the most popular search query. What’s worth highlighting is that now print books are identified as books in general (4th Instant suggestion in 2013).

However, there is a sign of going to left-brain thinking. Now, many people want to know whether prices of ebooks will go down. Clearly, lots of users have made a research and discovered ebooks were not as cheap as they thought.

Are ebooks…

There is one very interesting results in 2013 which makes me think “why is that?”

“Are ebooks cheaper” or “are ebooks any good” are very reasonable questions you could expect many people to ask, but why “are google ebooks free” appears in 2013?

To me, it has something to do with Google scan book project, 30 millions of books digitized by search giant, “millions of them free”. Google Book Search evolved to Google Books. With the launch of Google ebookstore (now called Google Play Books) in several new countries, it may create a huge confusion – as well as high expectations of free content in Google ebookstore.

A trend worth pointing out is that now more and more students are looking for ways to use ebooks (“are ebooks cheaper than textbooks”).

Can ebooks…

“Can ebooks be read on kindle” is rather a humorous accident (or maybe it proves Kindle is not a top-of-mind device when it comes to ebook-reading).

Both in 2011 and 2013 people want to print out digital books, and the common fear is that you can’t share the ebook.

Do ebooks…

The search trend clearly shows there is a growing number of people who seriously consider ebooks as a source of business. “Do ebooks have pictures” have been replaced by “do ebooks make money,” and “do ebooks sell”.

• • •

I wish one day adults will have such positive attitude towards ebooks as kids. This research will be done again in two years to see how our emotions related to ebooks evolve.

To me, ebooks will not replace print books, because they will disappear sooner.

What we think about ebooks – 2011 vs 2013 (infographic)

What we think about ebooks 2011 vs 2013 #infographic

You can share this visualization on your blog, simply copy the code below and paste it in html/text view while creating a post.

• • •

To get more posts like this, please subscribe by RSS or email. Let’s also connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

More to explore:

Jane Austen books – free ebook and audiobook downloads
– January 30, 2023

10 most interesting books that enter the public domain in 2023
– December 20, 2022

These 20 most gifted books will make perfect gifts in 2023
– December 9, 2022

16 best Kindle Scribe covers for work and pleasure (2023 roundup)
– November 28, 2022

14 premium but inexpensive Kindle 11 case covers (2023 edition)
– November 21, 2022

Recommendation box

Gifts for modern bookworms in 2023

Based on recommendations from top tech sites and customer reviews.

• • •

Vintage composition notebook iPhone case

Vintage composition notebook iPhone case

This unique, intensive, pseudo-marbling composition notebook pattern with a preworn label is available on the latest iPhone cases in several colors, including green, brown, and purple.


• • •

Innovative reading light

Compact and innovative reading light

From a German brand Nachteule comes a clever book light that you attach not to a book but your reading glasses. It’s so light that you can also clip it to your earphones or hair accessories! The built-in battery will let you read 200 pages.


• • •

Hands-free pillow stand

Hands-free pillow stand – great for e-readers and print books

An improved version of a popular Lamicall tablet pillow comes now with a side pocket for a pen or small accessories. The grooves are deep enough to hold a print book. It’s made of durable materials and is available in five fashionable colors.


More gifts for bookworms