Books: Not Dead

November 1, 2012


Recent research from the survey fiends at the Pew Internet & American Life Project reveals something that might surprise some new-media-philes: Books ain’t dead. Nor are those book-filled places called libraries.

Allow me to lazily quote at length (emphasis mine):

More than eight in ten Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 read a book in the past year, and six in ten used their local public library. At the youngest end of the spectrum, high schoolers in their late teens (ages 16-17) and college-aged young adults (ages 18-24) are especially likely to have read a book or used the library in the past 12 months. And although their library usage patterns may often be influenced by the requirements of school assignments, their interest in the possibilities of mobile technology may also point the way toward opportunities of further engagement with libraries later in life.

The most common book-reading format: print. By a mile. Two miles, even. And despite common assumptions that the young’uns are most inclined to deploy some fancy gadgets and gizmos, it’s folks ages 30-39 who are most likely to bust out the e-books.

Perhaps most surprising to me: The younger folks in this survey (ages 16-29) are more likely to read e-books on cell phones (sounds horrible) or, more so, desktop or laptop computers. Not e-readers or tablets.

Read the full findings summary, including investigation of young’uns library usage habits, at