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.