Print or online? What kind of books do you prefer? Which are younger Americans’ library habits Print or online? What kind of books do you prefer? Which are younger Americans’ library habits
Younger Americans, with ages between 16 and 29 years old, exhibit a fascinating mix of habits and preferences when it comes to reading, libraries,... Print or online? What kind of books do you prefer? Which are younger Americans’ library habits
ebookYounger Americans, with ages between 16 and 29 years old, exhibit a fascinating mix of habits and preferences when it comes to reading, libraries, and technology, say Pew Internet analysts.

Consequently, a recent study shows that almost all Americans under age 30 are online, and they are more likely than older Americans to use libraries’ computer and internet connections; however, they are also still closely bound to print, as three-quarters (75%) of younger Americans say they have read at least one book in print in the past year, compared with 64% of adults ages 30 and older.

Similarly, younger Americans’ library usage reflect a blend of traditional and technological services. Americans under age 30 are just as likely as older adults to visit the library, and once there they borrow print books and browse the shelves at similar rates. The Pew Internet study also reveals that 60% of young people say they go to the library to study, sit and read, or watch or listen to media, significantly more than the 45% of adults who do this.

Compared with older adults, Americans under age 30 are just as likely to have visited a library in the past year (67% of those ages 16-29 say this, compared with 62% of adults ages 30 and older), but they are significantly more likely to have either used technology at libraries or accessed library websites and services remotely. books

Some 38% of Americans ages 16-29 have used computers and the internet at libraries in the past year, compared with 22% of those ages 30 and older.

Almost half (48%) of Americans ages 16-29 have ever visited a library website, compared with 36% of those ages 30 and older (who are significantly less likely to have done so).

Almost one in five (18%) Americans ages 16-29 have used a mobile device to visit a public library’s website or access library resources in the past 12 months, compared with 12% of those ages 30 and older.

As with other age groups, younger Americans were significantly more likely to have read an e-book during 2012 than a year earlier. Among all those ages 16-29, 19% read an e-book during 2011, while 25% did so in 2012.

In fact, younger Americans under age 30 are now significantly more likely than older adults to have read a book in print in the past year (75% of all Americans ages 16-29 say this, compared with 64% of those ages 30 and older). And more than eight in ten (85%) older teens ages 16-17 read a print book in the past year, making them significantly more likely to have done so than any other age group.

Reading habits

  • 82% of Americans ages 16-29 read at least one book in any format in the previous 12 months. Over the past year, these younger readers consumed a mean (average) of 13 books—a median (midpoint) of 6 books.
  • 75% of Americans ages 16-29 read at least one book in print in the past year
  • 25% read at least one e-book
  • 14% listened to at least one audiobook

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