Print Beats the Pixel Again: 2016 Reading Habits

Print Beats the Pixel Again: 2016 Reading Habits

Mmmm … paper paper paper paper.

I knew I wasn’t alone in my love of and preference for print.

Pew Research’s latest study on Americans' 2016 reading habits confirms this: Yes, the e-reading habit exists (although surprisingly, at least to me, not necessarily with dedicated e-readers, like a Kindle). But print remains the more popular option.

Seventy-three percent of those responding to this year’s survey said, yes, they’ve read a book, in any format, in the last 12 months. 65 percent of the respondents claimed to have read a print book, and just 28 percent have read an e-book.

Audio books, sadly, get no love—just 14 percent of people answering the survey said they’ve listened to a book. I did the book channel on Sirius during my free trial, but will admit, I haven’t done the audio thing. Mostly because my commute is too short. And I like to make up my own voices. But I hear it’s a great way to get yourself through a traffic jam without wanting to kill someone.

Remember a few years back, when there was speculation the Kindle and its ilk would put book printers out of business? Pshaw. In fact, dedicated e-readers are not as popular a device as are tablets and smartphones. What’s more, nearly 40 percent of readers are loyal to the physical page, while just 6 percent stick solely to the e-versions.

Also relatively unchanged from the 2011 results is the number of books people are reading. While the average/mean number of books read per person is about 12, the median is 4. This makes me both happy and sad. Happy, because I felt like I was slacking off this year (GoT! Olympics! The Bachelorette!), so I am still better than average. At something. Thank God. But sad, because .. really? The typical American is reading just 4 books a year? That’s one a season. C’mon, you can do better than that!

Make America Read Again!

I’ve offered up suggestions every once in a while about how to sneak more reading into your day, but they can always bear repeating:

Never leave the house without a book. You never know when you will be stuck somewhere with a few minutes of time. Your nose in a book makes you look cerebral. And cerebral, we all know, is sexy.

Kids have reading logs? Now you do too. If they’ve got to read 15 – 30 minutes every night, why not join them?

Turn off the TV. At least once in a while. I know Vanilla Ice on DWTS is appointment television. And the dumpster fire that is this election cycle has offered up some priceless one-liners (I for one, would be THRILLED to have a taco truck on every corner! Where do I sign up?!?) But promise yourself that when you find yourself channel surfing, that is a sign from a higher power to turn off the TV and pick up a book.

Multi-task. We can do something about those audio book numbers, America. Put a book on tape in to listen during your commute. Take an audiobook selection with you as a workout or walking partner. Get a chapter in while making dinner. We are a nation of task jugglers. You can do this.

I blather about books. Like to read? Need a good suggestion? Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

I am also on Facebook, trolling for friends. Looking for a good read? Below are my recent reviews. Or you can check out Fall suggestions here:

Amp'd by Ken Pisani (READ THIS!!!)

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (Great chick lit)

The Girls by Emma Cline (This season's "It" book)

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