Adult readers in the U.S. still strongly favor paper over e-books, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.
Around 65 per cent of those surveyed had read a paperback or hardcover over the past year, compared to 28 percent who had read an e-book, Pew reported Thursday. Around 40 per cent only read print books, while just 6 percent favor e-books exclusively. Fourteen percent said they had listened to an audio book.
In an age of information technology where everything is being digitised, almost to the point of creating a digital revolution, the study does come as a surprise as it indicates a strong preference for the old way of reading. It also brings hope for the retail book stores, for whose future, many had gloomy predictions given the onslaught of e-books and piracy. The study shows that people still like the feel of reading from a tangible book and also bodes well for libraries, which may have apprehended decline in memberships considering the easy availability and affordability of e-books.
E-book sales surged after Amazon.com introduced its Kindle device in 2007. But they began leveling off a few years ago and have even declined for some major publishers.
Overall, 73 per cent of Americans, 18 and older read a book over the past year, up one percentage point from 2015 but below the 79 per cent recorded for 2011.