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October 24, 2012

New Study Sheds Light on Generational E-book Preferences

By Brooke Neuman, TMCnet Copy Editor

It’s no surprise that young and old generations differ on a wide range of things, whether its politics, fashion, manners or technology, most people – young and old – are set in their ways. So why should it be any different when it comes to e-book preferences?

Although some argue the digital divide is still a concern, I would argue that the gap is beginning to slowly close, with new tech gadgets marketed to ages ranging from 4 to 94 years old.

A new survey from The Pew (News - Alert) Research Center took a closer look into the “generation gap” concerning e-books. The study, which focused primarily on younger e-book readers, discovered that readers under the age of 30 prefer using cell phones and computers, while those over the age of 30 prefer using specified devices like the Amazon’s Kindle.

Image via Shutterstock

 Among the respondents between the ages of 16-29, over half read an e-book on a desktop or laptop computer. In comparison, around 40 percent used a cell phone and 25 percent used an e-reader. Among respondents 30 years-old and older, 46 percent preferred using an e-reader, while 25 percent preferred using cell phones.

The recent findings show that adults are more likely to read an e-book than teens. Of those surveyed, 12 percent aged 16-17 read an e-book over the past year, compared to 21 percent for ages 18-24 and 25 percent for ages 30-39.

While we can only speculate as to why this “gap” exists, there are some logical assumptions.

 Although e-readers are priced lower than ever, some teens don’t want to shell out the cash to purchase the device coupled with apps and e- books. Despite the questionable craze of the Twilight series, reading might not be a top priority for teens as well. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t see any teen reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace in the lunchroom.

Whatever the reason, the popularity and quality of e-readers will only increase in time.

Edited by Braden Becker
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