Young people prefer print to e-books

Young people prefer print to e-books

Print is still more popular than e-books amongst readers aged 16-24, although teenagers are more likely to read e-books than their older counterparts, according to the results of a survey carried out for The Bookseller Children’s Conference.

Luke Mitchell carried out the survey to mark the launch of ‘SYN: State of the Youth Nation’, a new research tool from market research company YouthSight.

Out of 1,000 respondents aged 16-24, 64% said they preferred print books, 16% said e-books, and 20% said they didn’t mind.

When asked how often they read e-books, 32% said they never read e-books, 35% said once a month or less, 8% said once a week or less, and 7% said more than once a week.

However, the respondents aged 16-19 are more likely to read e-books than the 20-24s, because 14% of the younger group read e-books at least once a month, compared to only 7% of the older respondents.

The 16-19s are also less likely to have a preference for either print or e-books, with 23% of that group saying they are agnostic about format. Less than a fifth of the older group said they didn’t have a preference.

The younger age group were also more likely to say they don’t read any books (23%) than the older group (16%).

When it comes to electronic reading devices, nearly half of all of those surveyed (43%) said they read using their smartphones. The next most popular device was a Kindle, used by 34%, then iPad (27%), laptop (23%), other tablet (19%), desktop computer (3%).

The majority (64%) said less than £3 is the right price for an e-book, whilst 26% said they would be willing to pay between £3 and £5. 

One respondent said: “E-books should not cost the same as a print book. Sometimes print books are cheaper than their electronic equivalents!”

Picture: Rolf Marriott