Do not Be Dumb, Technology Did Not Kill Paper Publications


After weathering forecasts of its own death for nearly a decade, the print publication is alive and well: According to your Pew Research Center survey, print is still the most used method to read novels. Yes, individuals increasingly read on smartphones and tablet computers. But Americans are still two times as prone to get a print publication as they may be to read an ebook.


But since the Pew Research Center began its survey of Americans’ novel reading habits in 2011, print publications have shown extraordinary resilience. About two thirds (65%) of Americans have read a print publication in the past year, exactly the same percent as in 2012 and just marginally down from the 71% who read a print publication in 2011.

(Though analysts’ forecasts that ebooks would overtake print by 2015 clearly did not occur.) What is clear is the printed publication still has important cultural and aesthetic value. For a lot of people, itis a design thing that will not ever be replaced.

People reading ebooks are doing so primarily on smartphones (13%) or tablets (15%), compared to dedicated e-readers (8%). While tablet PC use for reading has grown almost fourfold since 2011 and smartphone use more than doubled, how many men and women using ereaders has just changed.

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