Printed Page-Turners Still Preferred over Ebooks - eMarketer

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Printed Page-Turners Still Preferred over Ebooks

Most US internet users choose hard copies for reading

April 30, 2014

Writers shouldn’t give up on their dreams of seeing their pieces in print one day—the hard copy book hasn’t died yet. According to a March 2014 study by Harris Interactive, US internet users were far more likely to only read printed books than ebooks or a mix of the two.

Attitudes Toward Reading Printed Books vs. Ebooks According to US Internet Users, by Demographic, March 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

When asked about their attitudes toward reading printed books vs. ebooks, nearly half of respondents said they only read print books. This was far ahead of other responses, with loyal ebook readers grabbing just 6% of the total, and was also the top response across all age groups studied. In all, around one-fifth of respondents favored ebooks over hard copy versions.

Of course, in this digital age, ebooks were still a majority activity; 52% of respondents in Harris Interactive's survey said they read any ebooks.

Demographic Profile of US Consumers Who Have Read a Book in the Past Year, by Type, Jan 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

However, January 2014 polling by Pew Research Center’s Internet Project found far lower ebook usage among US consumers in general. Out of the 76% of respondents who had read a book in the past year, nearly seven in 10 had read a physical book, while just 28% had read an ebook.

In the end, Pew’s study found that those who did use ebooks were using the devices to supplement, not replace, printed books.

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