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Reading Paper Books Still In Vogue

March 18, 2015

There is no way this news column would go unnoticed on CP.  Long time readers know where I stand on this matter. 

But there is one important group of people who would much rather do their reading in traditional formats. Not crotchety geezers living in the past, but teens and young adults, who confess a marked bias for doing things the way their great-grandparents did them.

A poll last year found that two-thirds of youngsters ages 6 to 17 prefer to read actual paper books. A Pew Research study found that 78 percent of those from ages 18 to 24 have read a print book in the past year — compared with 21 percent who have read an e-book. This inclination is somewhat surprising, because young people are less likely than their elders to read newspapers and magazines in print.

The University of Washington did a pilot study that provided e-textbooks free — and found that 1 of every 4 students bought the physical textbooks anyway. Asked what format they would have chosen absent the free e-book option, only 2 percent of the students said they would have gotten the digital version, with three-quarters opting for a hard copy.

That’s right. A lot of undergrads, given the choice between a free e-book on a device that weighs next to nothing, would rather spend money or go to the library so they can stuff their backpacks with bulky, heavy volumes. They’d rather tote a hard copy of whatever they’re reading for pleasure too.

 

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