Study: E-Readers Win the Hearts of Your Mothers

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In a world filled with tablet computers, smartphones and the like, it can sometimes seem as if e-readers are yesterday’s news. But there’s one particular demographic who, according to a new survey, is gleefully embracing the device over any other—your mothers.

Nielsen has released the results of a new study of e-reader users and it shows that 61% of them are female, while 30% are over the age of 55. Both percentages are massive gains from a similar survey carried out just a year ago (at which point 46% of e-reader users were female and only 25% over 55), suggesting that the longer the e-reader exists, the more it skews towards older females (as younger users find newer toys to play with). Interestingly, those newer toys aren’t tablet computers: Tablets have seen a drop in users aged 18-24, according to the same survey, from 23% of all tablet users in 2010 to just 13% now.

(MORE: Americans Prefer E-Readers to Tablets (and the Gap is Growing))

This gender shift for e-readers shouldn’t come as a complete surprise; comparisons for magazines and books selling on mobile devices have shown that female readers have preferred e-readers for some time, with women shown to be three times more likely to buy e-books than men and also more likely to use mobile devices for reading as opposed to various other activities such as web browsing or playing Angry Birds.

Weirdly, this Nielsen report contradicts the Pew survey from June, which suggested that men were slightly more likely to purchase e-readers than women; one possible explanation for the blip is that they’re buying the devices for their mothers as gifts. Which, admittedly, isn’t entirely impossible, but the likelihood still weighs more toward “different groups answer similar questions differently.” Nonetheless, consider getting your mother an e-reader next time you’re shopping for a gift. Clearly, she’ll be amongst like-minds while using it.

MORE: Some Women’s Magazines for ‘Nook Color’ E-Reader Outselling iPad Versions

Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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