More people are using smartphones and tablets to read books, but a majority of readers prefer traditional print books over digital formats, according to a recent study by Pew Research Center.
“When people reach for a book, it is much more likely to be a traditional print than a digital product,” according to the study. “Fully 65 percent of Americans have read a print book last year, more than double the share that has read an e-book (28 percent) and more than four times the share that has consumed book content via audio book (14 percent).”
Reading Research Results
The center conducted a telephone survey of 1,520 American adults from March 7 to April 4, 2016. Here are the highlights of the survey results:
- Seventy-three percent of Americans have read books in the past year, which is largely unchanged since 2012.
- Americans read an average of 12 books every year, while the typical (median) American has read four books in the past year.
- Sixty-five percent of Americans have read a print book last year compared to 28 percent, who have read an e-book.
- Thirty-eight percent read print books but did not read e-books.
- Twenty-eight percent read books in both print and digital formats.
- Six percent read digital books but not print books.
- The number of Americans who read books on tablet computers increased from 4 percent in 2011 to 15 percent in 2016.
- During the same period, the share of Americans who read books on smartphones increased from 5 percent to 13 percent.
- During the same period, the share of Americans who read books on e-readers increased from 7 percent to 11 percent.
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, and nonadvocacy “fact tank.” It conducts research on U.S. politics and policy, journalism and media, Internet, and science and technology, among other things.
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