Survey Says Millennials are Clinging to Print

printbooksThey were raised with smartphones in their hands, and their connection to the outside world is tethered by electronics. So of course they choose to read their books on e-readers and tablets, right?

Not so, according to a new study by Publishing Technology and reported in Digital Book World (DBW).

“A new study by Publishing Technology finds U.S. Millennials—defined as people currently between the ages of 18 and 34—almost twice as likely to read a print book as an ebook,” the article notes.

“That finding squares with similar print preferences Pew researchers found among older readers as well. Among adults 18 and up, 28% read an ebook in 2014 as compared with the 69% of those who read at least one print book,” the article continues.

The results have far-reaching implications for publishers, as summarized by Michael Cairns, Publishing Technology CEO:

“We undertook this research to better understand the reading habits and test our assumptions about a generation of young people born and raised in the digital era. We were quite surprised to discover that 18-34 year-olds are not as ‘online-only’ as we, in the publishing industry, often assume,” Cairns notes in a press release.

It’s interesting to learn that younger readers are “equally comfortable with digital and analog modes of book discovery. 45% of Millennials report learning about new titles by word-of-mouth recommendations, 32% by online browsing and 25% by browsing through a physical store or library,” the DBW article notes.

So digital is important as a means to the end, but not the end in itself. And it supports our realization that tangible is cool again.

We’ve talked before how Millennials prefer printed text books, and how print helps us engage more deeply. This new bit of research will help bolster our understanding of this up and coming sector of our audience and how to engage them.