Considering the spread of digitization into seemingly every nook and cranny of our lives, how are book-reading practices changing? The Pew Research Center looked into this question recently, and it found that those behaviors are definitely changing.
First, what hasn’t happened is a wholesale flight from printed books. According to Pew’s January 2018 survey of ~2,000 American adults age 18 and older, fewer than one in ten respondents reported that they’ve pulled the plug completely on reading printed books.
But it turns out that ~30% are reading both digital and printed books.
As for the rest, nearly a quarter of the respondents reported that they don’t read books at all – in any format.
That leaves around 40% who report that they read books in printed form only.
It seems that we’re in the midst of a technologically driven change in behavior. A few short years ago the percentage of Americans reading any books in digital format would have likely been in the single digits. But now just about half the population of book readers are doing so at least in part using digital technology.
I suspect that we’ll see continue to see a shift towards digital books – and likely at an accelerating pace. Even though speaking personally, I tend to read “better” when I’m not in front of a screen because I find it easier to absorb the more extensive paragraphs that are more typical to long-form writing.
But that’s just me. What about you? Are you still reading printed books exclusively, or have you gravitated to digital? And do you see yourself going 100% digital eventually? Please leave a comment for the benefit of other readers.