Thursday, October 25, 2012

Younger Americans' Reading and Library Habits

The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project just released a 50+ page study, Younger American’s Reading and Library Habits. They found that “more than eight in ten Americans ages 16-29 read a book in the past year, and six in ten used their local public library. Many say they are reading more in the era of digital content, especially on their mobile phones and on computers.”

 NPR had a story on the study, as did the New York Times.

Findings include:

  • 83% of Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 read a book in the past year. Some 75% read a print book, 19% read an e-book, and 11% listened to an audiobook.

  • Among Americans who read e-books, those under age 30 are more likely to read their e-books on a cell phone (41%) or computer (55%) than on an e-book reader such as a Kindle (23%) or tablet (16%).

  • Overall, 47% of younger Americans read long-form e-content such as books, magazines or newspapers. E-content readers under age 30 are more likely than older e-content readers to say that they are reading more these days due to the availability of e-content (40% vs. 28%).

  • 60% of Americans under age 30 used the library in the past year. Some 46% used the library for research, 38% borrowed books (print books, audiobooks, or e-books), and 23% borrowed newspapers, magazines, or journals.

Pretty good news for those of us who care about libraries and reading. But as someone who also takes a book everywhere she goes (just in case), this was my favorite part: some e-content readers mentioned that they  “could read a few pages on their phone while waiting in line or between classes.”  Nice!

No comments: