A majority of young Americans have read a print book and used their local public library in the past year, a new survey found.
October 23 2012, Live Science
A majority of young Americans have read a print book and used their local public library in the past year, a
new survey found. And while e-books have not greatly supplanted their
paper counterparts, the rise of digital content seems to be driving up
reading rates for many Americans under 30, according to the poll.
In the Pew study, 83 percent of respondents between age 16 and 29 said
they read a book in the past 12 months a whopping 75 percent picked up
a real book while 19 percent read an e-book and 11 percent listened to
Sixty percent of Americans in this age set said they used their local
library in the past year, mostly for research and borrowing books
Nearly half (47 percent) of the respondents said they read long-form
e-content, including books, magazines or newspapers. Among this group,
40 percent said they are reading more these days due to the availability of digital content. But only 10 percent of this group borrowed an e-book
from the library. Most weren’t aware they could do so but said they
would be interested in borrowing pre-loaded e-readers if their library
offered that service.
A majority of e-book readers under 30 read their e-books on a desktop or laptop computer, while the second most popular method is by cell
phone. Just 23 percent used an e-reader like a Kindle or Nook and 16
percent use a tablet.
Many young e-content consumers in the study mentioned how they have
started to read more while traveling or waiting in line since getting
into the habit of e-reading.
“I am reading more now that I have purchased an e-reader,” one
college-age respondent wrote in the survey. “I find that by having an
e-reader I have developed a habit of reading in my spare time (it’s very
convenient to take my e-reader with me) and I am discovering more books
to read on my device.”
But many e-content readers still prefer the physical experience of reading a print edition.
“I am a very reluctant technology user,” one female respondent in her
late twenties wrote. “I only occasionally request e-books, as I prefer
the overall experience of reading an actual book. It somehow feels more
warm and personal.”
The Pew Research Center’s study was based on a
nationally-representative phone survey of 2,986 people ages 16 and older
that was conducted from Nov. 16 to Dec. 21, 2011.