Kindle-Nook owners still prefer print books for reading

Paula Duffy's picture

While e-readers like Kindle and Nook are popular, their owners still read more books the old fashioned way according to a new poll.

E-reader owners prefer reading books in printed form, according to a recent California poll sponsored by USC's Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times and performed by two companies: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and American Viewpoint.

Fifteen hundred people were polled, all registered voters in the state and the percentage of those that own e-readers was quite high --- 78% of the 1,500 who participated in the survey.

The question regarding what reading format was preferred was posed this way: "Which of the following best describes how you read books." The choices of answers offered were, "Always on an e-reader," "Mostly e-reader sometimes print," Mostly print sometimes e-reader," and "Always in print."

:Mostly print, sometimes e-reader won the day with 40% of those surveyed answering in that manner. The next greatest number, 32% said they read mostly by e-reader and only sometimes in print. In the "always" categories print books came out ahead. Fourteen percent chose "always in print" vs. 10% who answered "always on an e-reader."

The survey also debunked the myth that only young people have taken to the e-reader category in large numbers. As reported in the Los Angeles Times, "Twenty-two percent of those ages 18 to 49 own e-readers; 20% of people 50 and older have them."

The oft-repeated belief that young people don't read much any more was also proven false, at least among the 1,500 people surveyed. "An overwhelming portion (84%) of those ages 18 to 29 said they like to read some or a lot; that's only a percentage point less than for respondents 50 and older."

It's been a tough week for Apple and publishers of e-books. The U.S. Department of Justice brought a claim against five publishers and Apple for allegedly conspiring to fix prices of e-books, keeping the cost to the consumer high. The DOJ alleges that the illegal scheme cost consumers more than $100 million in the past two years by adding $2 to $5 to the price of each e-book.

The Justice Department's claim states that Apple and the publishers forced book sellers to charge a set price in exchange for keeping 30% of the revenue generated from sales, rather than allowing retailers to individually determine resale prices after paying a wholesale price to the publishers. The pricing scheme is a violation of the anti-trust laws that seek to increase competition with resulting benefits to consumers.

Apple has denied the charges and will fight them while three of the publishers announced a settlement with the government that had been negotiated prior to the announcement of the lawsuit.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Amazon's Kindle


Submitted by Laura Bangerter (not verified) on
The title is misleading on this article. It didn't say that people prefer reading print books, it just said they read more print books. Reasons this is happening besides preference could be that the titles they want to read aren't available as ebooks or because they can borrow print books whereas borrowing ebooks is often not allowed.

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