Reading Habits in The Digital Age
People today have an enormous variety of content available to them in a number of formats all through the click of a button. The Pew Research Center survey finds that 73% of Americans have read a book in any format – print, e-book or audiobook – in the last 12 months, and this statistic has remained largely unchanged since 2012. However, when people reach for a book, it is much more likely to be a traditional print book than a digital product.
While print remains at the center of the book-reading landscape as a whole, there has been a distinct shift in the e-book landscape over the last five years.
E-book readership increased by 11-percentage points between 2011 and 2014 from 17% to 28%.
As evidenced by this graph, more than one-quarter (28%) of Americans read books in both print and digital formats and 6% are “digital-only”, preferring to read digital books but not print books.
Some demographic groups are slightly more likely than others to do all of their reading in digital format. For instance, College graduates are roughly four times as likely to read e-books.
Americans are increasingly turning to multipurpose devices such as smartphones and tablets when they engage with e-book content. About one-in-five Americans under the age of 50 have used a cellphone to read e-books.
To conclude, among all American adults:
- 84% read to research specific topics of interest (29% do so nearly every day).
- 82% read to keep up with current events (47% nearly every day).
- 80% read for pleasure (35% nearly every day).
- 57% read for work or school (31% do so nearly every day).