Contrary to popular belief, young Americans are reading more than their Twitter feeds. Millennials may be known for ever-shrinking attention spans, but studies show we’re still picking up books every know and then.
A new report from Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project shows that 8 in 10 Americans under the age of 30 have read a book in the past year, compared to 7 in 10 American adults of all ages.
Millennials still love real books
Electronic books surely have something to do with the surge in young readership (Apple reports over 400 million downloads from its iBookStore), but print books remain far more popular. In the past year, 75% of Americans ages 16-29 read a print book, 19% read an e-book and 11% listened to an audiobook.
Most e-books are read on cell phones & computers
Young American e-book readers are more likely to view books on their cell phone or computer than on an e-reader. 55% read their e-books on a computer and 41% read on their cellphone, versus just 23% who use an actual e-book such as a Kindle.
e-books are about convenience, not replacing print
“We heard from e-book readers in general [that] they don’t want e-books to replace print books,” Kathryn Zickuhr, the Pew study’s main author said in a recent NPR interview. “They see them as part of the same general ecosystem; e-books supplement their general reading habits.”
Instead, e-books serve as a convenient alternative for Millennials on the go. “We heard from a lot of younger e-book readers about how e-books just fit into their lives – how they can read when they’re waiting in line for class, or waiting in line for lunch,” said Zickuhr.
Which device do you use for reading these days? Do you think print books are in danger of extinction?