More and more of what people are reading, we aren’t reading in print (after all, you’re reading this online). But when one has the choice of a book in print versus an e-book (electronic book, such as one reads with a Kindle or other e-reader), print is still preferred by many. It may come as a surprise that this is the case even among the generation that has grown up entirely during the so-called digital age. Recent studies have confirmed that the reading habits of millennials (defined as persons born in the 1980s or 1990s) ensure a robust future for print books. Of particular note is the finding that compared to their elders, a higher percentage of people under 30 believe that there is useful information that is not available on the Internet.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of print versus digital? What informs our choice of one format or the other? Recent studies have examined these questions, looking at everything from environmental impact to reading comprehension to personal preferences related to accessibility, subject matter, convenience, or cost.
Regarding public libraries, millennials of all ages are just as likely to make use of them as are older adults, and are more likely to use library websites. Older teenagers are more likely than others under 30 to read, whether for work or school, and to use libraries for books and research.
Michael Levine, executive director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, says, “We need to encourage reading in multiple forms.” Levine, whose center has done significant research into children and digital reading, argues that regardless of “which platform is better,” the goal should be to promote “a higher volume of reading” overall.
Image credit: © AP Photo/Richard Drew
- Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
This article focuses on the advantages of print and why, in light of recent findings, e-books won’t be taking over any time soon.
(Source: Huffington Post, February 27, 2015)
- Ebooks Will Make Us Dumber, or They Won’t
This article brings perspective to a recent study that claims print books have advantages for reading comprehension—pointing to the shortcoming of the study and the tendency of the media to make more of the findings than is warranted.
(Source: Forbes, August 20, 2014)
- Print vs. Digital: Advantages and Disadvantages
This infographic presents the pros and cons of print vs. digital.
(Source: BookWhirl.com, September 11, 2013)
- Younger Americans and Public Libraries
This recent study focuses on the attitudes of those under 30 toward libraries and their role in our lives and communities.
(Source: Pew Research Center, September 10, 2014)
- The Great E-Books vs. Print Debate
Drop in on this informal “vicious debate” at the Buzzfeed editorial office.
(Source: Buzzfeed.com, June 9, 2014)