According to new research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 21% of American adults have read an e-book in the past year. In mid-December, that number stood at 17%.
Chalk that increase up to the rise of affordable e-readers and tablets, like the Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet, which many Americans received as gifts this past holiday season.
With more and more consumers calling themselves owners of e-readers and tablets, it's clear that e-books will play an increasingly important role in the book publishing world.
Given this, it's no surprise that Amazon is working to make sure it's virtual shelves are stocked with the books that appeal to a wide array of consumers. To that end, the online retail giant today announced the launch eBooks Kindle en Español, a section within the Kindle Store specifically targeting Spanish-speakers in the United States.
Containing more than 30,000 titles, including 1,000 free classics, eBooks Kindle en Español features works from popular authors such as Paulo Coelho, Gabriel García Márquez, Camilo Jose Cela, Julia Navarro and Isabel Allende.
All told, the store offers all of the Spanish-language bestsellers available in e-book format (as tracked by Nielsen) and 65 of the top 100 Spanish-language bestsellers (as tracked by Amazon). Also for sale in eBooks Kindle en Español are subscriptions to 14 Latin American newspapers.
Amazon's VP of Kindle Content, Russ Grandinetti, stated in the company's press release:
We expect our Spanish-speaking customers to enjoy both the newly-added books in Spanish, and the improved shopping and reading experience-including dedicated customer service in Spanish-that we've added to eBooks Kindle en Español.
According to 2010 US Census data, Spanish is the primary language spoken at home by some 37m people, and overall there are 45m Spanish-speakers in the country. That is creating and will continue to create significant opportunities for content creators and distributors, like Amazon, able to find ways to successfully serve this growing market.