A new report from Pew Research Center highlights “the rise of e-reading“¬†and the Americans who read electronically.
Only one of these students read an eBook last year.
¬†This is a timely study as more schools and universities investigate how ETEXT can be a core component of next-generation learning.
PCs favored over Tablets
The report has many interesting findings:
When investigating the reasons people read, pleasure top the charts. Reading for work or school was nearly a 50/50 split between those who did¬† and those who did not.
Another Digital Divide
There were nearly 3000 survey respondents.¬† I encourage you to dig deep into the data, especially on the demographics.¬† The average number of books read last year by the respondents was 17. However, the demographic data highlights that there some clear socio-economic variances in the data. Both Black (12)¬†and Hispanic (11)¬†Americans read below the average of 17 than their White counterparts at 19 books read.
A fifth of Americans (18%) said they had not read a book in the past year. This group is more likely to be: male than female (23% vs. 14%), Hispanic than white or black (28% vs. 17% and 16%), age 65 or older (27%), lacking a high school diploma (34%), living in households earning less than $30,000 (26%), unemployed (22%), and residents of rural areas 25%. Those who did not read a book last year also tended not to be technology users.
There are clearly some¬†Digital Divide issues permeating the report.
Literacy v. E-Literacy
While the data shows that those who read eBooks read more than their non-eBook counterparts; it does not suggest that because¬†content is electronic that it will suddenly¬†improve an appetite of or fluency¬†in reading. Readers love to read, regardless of the medium.
If there is any major nugget that should come from this report, is that if¬†we cannot kindle (no pun intended) a love for reading in students–technology alone will not do it. The Pew report found that 4 out of 5 Americans did not read an eBook last year.
Perhaps, we should take the time get literacy done right and let the¬†E-literacy follow. If you think differently or agree, let me know in the comments below. After you have digested the report, I would love to know if your conclusions were different than mine.
Pew Research Center, “The rise of e-reading,” April 5, 2012.