Book Reading: Print or Digital Devices

Posted on 10/12/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

According to the Pew Research Center in the last year 39% of Americans read only print books. Another 26% didn’t read any books at all, but read other things. The question is where do the other 35% of book readers get their information. Remember, that not so long ago the 74% who wanted to read a book turned to one that was printed.

Of the 35% twenty-nine percent (29%) currently read both print and digital books and the other 6% read only digital books. Pew’s latest report says, “A growing share of Americans are reading e-books on tablets and smartphones rather than dedicated e-readers.”

While there has been little change in the percentage of digital readers in the last five years, the share of readers who use smartphones and tablet computers – rather than dedicated e-readers – has increased significantly. Tablet readers have more than tripled since 2011 and phone readers have more than doubled.



Among readers 18-29 years old, 22% of them are reading books on their smartphones, 4x more than read them on e-book readers.

The share of Americans who read in order to research a specific topic of interest has increased in recent years.



In addition to asking whether – and on what devices – Americans read books specifically, the survey also included a broader set of questions asking about reasons that people might read written content of any kind (including books, but also magazines, newspapers or online content).
Among all American adults:
  • 84% ever read to research specific topics of interest (29% do so nearly every day).
  • 82% read to keep up with current events (47% nearly every day).
  • 80% read for pleasure (35% nearly every day).
  • 57% read for work or school (31% do so nearly every day).
A similar share of Americans report that they read for pleasure, for work or school, or to keep up with current events compared to the most recent time these questions were asked in 2011. However, the share of Americans who read in order to research specific topics of interest has increased by 10-percentage points over that time frame, from 74% to 84%.


Copyright © 2016 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

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