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Old News: Most British Youth Prefer Print Books

6997132774_711195957e_hIn what is becoming an annual tradition, The Bookseller reported this morning that an annual survey showed youths in the UK prefer print over digital books:

Out of 1,000 respondents aged 16-24, 64% said they preferred print books, 16% said e-books, and 20% said they didn’t mind. When asked how often they read e-books, 32% said they never read e-books, 35% said once a month or less, 8% said once a week or less, and 7% said more than once a week.

However, the respondents aged 16-19 are more likely to read e-books than the 20-24s, because 14% of the younger group read e-books at least once a month, compared to only 7% of the older respondents. The 16-19s are also less likely to have a preference for either print or e-books, with 23% of that group saying they are agnostic about format. Less than a fifth of the older group said they didn’t have a preference.

Given that last year’s survey told us that 73% of youths prefer print over digital, very little of this comes as a surprise. (I wouldn’t read too much into the decline from 73% to 64%; last year there was no option for "no preference").

The survey this year was considerably more detailed than before, though. It also asked the kids whether they liked to read, and found that 23% of the younger age group don’t read any books at all, while 16% of the older group don’t read books.

But for those who read ebooks, the survey showed that nearly half of readers (43%) said they read using their smartphones, while 34% said they read on a Kindle or other ereader, with an iPad (27%), laptop (23%), other tablet (19%), desktop computer (3%)rounding out the most popular choices.

The survey also showed that respondents were almost as price sensitive this year as they were last year; the majority (64%) said less than £3 is the right price for an ebook, while 26% said they would be willing to pay between £3 and £5.

Last time around 43% of the survey group said ebooks should cost less than £3.00, and 27% saying they should cost between £3.00 and £5.00.

image by secretlondon123

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carmen webster buxton September 30, 2015 um 12:36 am

I found it significant that the young folks who did buy ebooks expected them to be very reasonably priced. Also, it was alarming how many of them didn’t read for recreation at all.

Nate Hoffelder September 30, 2015 um 7:55 am

That was alarming, yes.

Frank September 30, 2015 um 10:51 am

The decline in reading for recreation among young people has been going on a lot with the rise of the smartphone.

David September 30, 2015 um 10:55 am

"the majority (64%) said less than £3 is the right price for an ebook, while 26% said they would be willing to pay between £3 and £5."
and how much were they willing to pay for a non-eBook?

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