Here is another striking report (posted Feb.22, 2015) on the reading preferences of those who have grown up with digital content (young people known as “digital natives”). Once again, reading printed material is the choice for such college-age young people who read for “pleasure and learning.”
Warms my heart – and I do a fair amount of digital reading during the course of a day too. But when I can grab that printed book or magazine or newspaper in hand and feel the pages between my fingers and read the content on real paper – ah, I am a happy man. And I haven’t even mentioned the smells! :)
What’s your preference for reading – digital or print? What would you say is the percentage breakdown for your reading on any given day?
Here’s the first part of the news item as it was carried by the Washington Post; find the rest at the link above.
Frank Schembari loves books — printed books. He loves how they smell. He loves scribbling in the margins, underlining interesting sentences, folding a page corner to mark his place.
Schembari is not a retiree who sips tea at Politics and Prose or some other bookstore. He is 20, a junior at American University, and paging through a thick history of Israel between classes, he is evidence of a peculiar irony of the Internet age: Digital natives prefer reading in print.
“I like the feeling of it,” Schembari said, reading under natural light in a campus atrium, his smartphone next to him. “I like holding it. It’s not going off. It’s not making sounds.”
Textbook makers, bookstore owners and college student surveys all say millennials still strongly prefer print for pleasure and learning, a bias that surprises reading experts given the same group’s proclivity to consume most other content digitally. A University of Washington pilot study of digital textbooks found that a quarter of students still bought print versions of e-textbooks that they were given for free.
“These are people who aren’t supposed to remember what it’s like to even smell books,” said Naomi S. Baron, an American University linguist who studies digital communication. “It’s quite astounding.”